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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.