Father jailed for killing toddler

 


A father who killed his toddler son because he was crying was jailed for nine years today.

Nathan Allen brought both fists down on 14-month-old Fletcher's abdomen as he lay in his cot.

The youngster died in January from internal bleeding and damaged kidneys.

Allen, 27, of Erith Crescent, Romford, Essex, was jailed for manslaughter at the Old Bailey after a jury cleared him of murder.

Allen had been left with the boy for less than 30 minutes while his partner Danielle Hands, 19, went to see her family.

The Common Sergeant of London Judge Brian Barker said Fletcher was suffering from nappy rash.

He told Allen: "Your reaction was aggressive and extreme. You will have to live with your actions for the rest of your life.

"This was a terrible act and you must take responsibility for your actions."

The judge said he did not fully accept Allen's explanation of events because the boy had extensive bruising on his face and abdomen.

Allen denied hurting his son after the incident but admitted manslaughter at the start of his trial.

In cross-examination, Allen demonstrated hitting the toddler with his two clenched fists in a downward motion.

Allen said he hit Fletcher as he lay in his cot because he would not stop crying.

He said: "He was screaming and clinging to my arm.

"I hit him twice in the stomach. I didn't know what else to do.

"As soon as I'd done it, I realised it was wrong and I said 'Sorry, Fletcher' and I picked him up and cuddled him.

"I'm sorry for what I've done, I'm so sorry for what I did to him."

He added: "I just didn't know what to do, I was beside myself. I was frustrated with myself - my son was crying, I've never seen him cry like that.

"Fletcher was so happy and for me to see him like that, I felt like I was doing something wrong."

Richard Whittam QC, prosecuting, told the court that Allen lied to police, claiming the boy drowned in the bath.

News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?