A couple will spend the next 10 years behind bars for the death of their three-week-old infant in the United Kingdom, according to reports on Dec. 7.
The BBC reported that Roxanne Davis, 30, and Sam Davies, 24, from Gosport, are “equally culpable” in the “brutal” death of their infant son, Judge Jane Miller told the court.
The court heard that the child, named Stanley, died of a skull fracture and brain haemorrhage when he was just 24-days old in March 2017, ITV reported. The judge blamed three separate incidents for causing the child’s 32 other fractures.
“The medical evidence is he would have cried inconsolably for 10 to 30 minutes, which means both of you would have been aware of his distress because the flat was so tiny. One of you may have been absent when one of the sets of injuries was inflicted, but not all,” Miller told the defendants.
The child’s mother cried during an initial hearing last month and shouted: “He’s a murderer,” apparently referring to the father. Miller then told the mother: “Much of your upset is self-serving crocodile tears. Your upset was more about you rather than Stanley.”
The judge added: “You were delighted to show him off to family and friends but when you were back at home and he wasn’t a fashion accessory, you were happy to hand him over to your partner.”
A court heard the couple had a quarrelsome relationship. Police came to their home after neighbors heard yelling, ITV reported. The two also tested positive for marijuana and cocaine at the time of being arrested, Sky News reported.
A health visitor, a common term used to describe a registered nurse or midwife, spotted a bruise on the infant on March 16 but a doctor identified it as a birthmark, the report said.
— ITV News (@itvnews) December 7, 2018
Miller described their cocaine and marijuana use during parenthood as “irresponsible in the extreme,” the BBC reported. “You both had quick and hot tempers and were violent towards each other,” she said.
“You colluded to conceal Stanley’s injuries … and deceived doctors and midwives,” the judge added. “I am unable to be sure which one of you systematically injured Stanley. Both of you could and should have been capable of standing up to each other.”
Defense attorney for the mother Katie Thorne said her client suffered from depression, adding: “Miss Davis’ case has always been that she didn’t cause the injuries. Miss Davis did accept her strong feelings of guilt in failing to protect Stanley,” according to ITV.
The father’s attorney, Sally Howes, claimed her client had “great sadness and a great feeling of guilt.”
“He is clearly a very immature man and his diagnoses of ADHD and emotionally unstable personality disorder are recent, and will have to be addressed at a later stage,” Howes said.
Detective Chief Inspector Fiona Bitters of Hampshire Police said they were unable to charge the two with murder even though they completed a thorough investigation.
“We haven’t been able to charge with murder,” she said. “Many people feel that should have been the case but we are guided by the law and I think we’ve charged them with the right offense and—in terms of the maximum sentence for that—this reflects the serious nature and the tragedy of this case.”