A father in the UK has been sentenced to nine years after being accused of shaking his 15-month-old son to death.
The tragedy occurred on December 7, 2016 at a home in Beaufort, Ebbw Vale, Wales when the 26-year-old father, Matthew Jones was left alone with baby Cody Jones while his partner, Paula Williams, visited her sister.
It would have been a usual father-and-son time except if baby Cody was crying and Matthew was unable to stop him from it. He then “lost it” and grabbed and shoke his son, Newport Crown Court heard.
Upon her return home, Paula was astonished witnessing her husband was holding baby Cody, who had become “floppy”.
Paula called 999 (UK’s emergency telephone number), telling an operator: “My baby’s breathing, but he’s lifeless. He is making noises, but he’s breathing really slow.”
The infant was taken to Abergavveny’s Nevill Hall Hospital and pronounced dead the following day, with scans showing he suffered fractured ribs and multiple hemorrhages, consistent with “shaking or impact” injuries.
Matthew was arrested and accused of murder. He claimed during his trial he was cradling Cody when the baby pushed away from him and fell head first onto his cot.
After a plea agreement, the jury cleared him of murder but he was found guilty of manslaughter.
“It was a young man who had been working extremely hard to provide for his family.” Matthew’s attorney, Richard Smith, told the court “It is clear from exchanges between him and Miss Williams the pair were exhausted and significantly lacking in sleep but were trying their very best between them to get through it. In that extreme tiredness his self control deserted him.”
The father claimed he did not mean to kill his child, but did intend to cause his child some harm, the court heard.
The judge said: “The tragedy is not just that Cody died but that you as his father find yourself where you are as a consequence of his death.” The judge said “You will bare the burden no doubt for the rest of your life.”
Jones was sentenced to nine years in jail.