Alfie Sullock death: Babysitter who killed girlfriend’s child receives nine year jail sentence

Mother Donna Sullock said 'whatever the sentence, it will never be long enough for taking Alfie’s life away'

A man who killed his girlfriend’s six-week-old baby while the mother was out with her friends has been jailed for nine years.

Michael Pearce repeatedly hit Alfie Sullock with a shoe and a plastic bottle before texting mother Donna Sullock to “reassure” her that the baby was well.

A jury at a three-week murder trial at Newport Crown Court convicted Pearce of manslaughter, deciding that he had not intended to kill Alfie before trying to cover up his actions.

But sentencing him today, the judge Mr Justice Baker said that this was “not a momentary loss of control by a sleep-deprived parent”.

As the nine-year sentence was handed down, a cry of “disgraceful” was heard from the public gallery. Pearce could be released from prison on licence after serving half of that term.

The court heard that Pearce had been drinking before he was left to babysit – the first time Ms Sullock had been out since the birth – and that he may have been “motivated by jealousy as a result of Donna’s refusal to have [his] child earlier that evening”.

Michael John Pearce who has been found guilty at Newport Crown Court for killing the six-week-old Alfie Rhys Sullock Michael John Pearce who has been found guilty at Newport Crown Court for killing the six-week-old Alfie Rhys Sullock Pearce, a 33-year-old magistrate’s son who is himself a father of one, had denied all wrongdoing throughout the trial – but when it came to sentencing, his defence team made submissions on his behalf saying that the injuries Alfie sustained were “unintentional and unintended”.

In his sentencing remarks, Mr Justice Baker said that while the exact cause of Alfie's injuries would “probably remain unknown”, it was likely they had been caused by up to “10 blows” from at least one object.

“The evidence is that Alfie had been in your sole care for a relatively brief period of time prior to the injuries inflicted upon him,” he told Pearce.

Alfie Rhys Sullock with his mother Donna Alfie Rhys Sullock with his mother Donna “Furthermore, after you assaulted Alfie you phoned the emergency services, albeit you failed to tell them what had caused his injuries, and only phoned the emergency services after Alfie had gone cold.”

A visibly upset Ms Sullock did not want to speak following the conclusion of the case.

She attended every single day of the trial - even listening to the seven-minute 999 call and details of her son's post-mortem examination.

Read more: Michael Pearce convicted of manslaughter

Yesterday, she said she had been through “a year of absolute hell” and was “disappointed” with the manslaughter verdict.

She told reporters: 2Whatever sentence he will get, it will never be long enough for taking Alfie's life away.”

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