Ex-soldier jailed for killing baby son
Friday 01 October 1993
A jury at Newcastle Crown Court was told that Michael Davison died in hospital last October four days after being injured when his father was looking after him while the boy's mother, Diane Smedley, 17, was staying with her mother.
Davison, of Washington, Tyne and Wear, originally denied a charge of murder but when his trial began on Tuesday he changed his plea to guilty to manslaughter.
The court was told that six weeks before his death, Michael was taken to Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Gateshead, with head bruising and seen by Dr Marietta Higgs, one of the paediatricians at the centre of the 1987 Cleveland child sexual abuse controversy.
After X-rays failed to show any fracture, Dr Higgs decided the injuries were accidental and the boy returned home.
However, after Michael's death from brain damage from the shaking, evidence was found of a fracture which may have been caused during the August incident in which the father claimed the baby had banged its head against a door, Paul Worsley QC, for the prosecution, told the court.
The jury was told that this damage to the membrane over the child's brain, which was discovered by a pathologist during the post-mortem examination, was the sort of injury which might not show in an X-ray.
The post-mortem examination also revealed that Michael had several other old injuries which had not previously come to light - healing fractures to five ribs and two leg fractures.
Mr Worsley told the court that after Michael's death, Davison had asked Ms Smedley to try to prevent a post-mortem examination being conducted.
Sentencing Davison, Mr Justice Potter said: 'This is an inexcusable case where death has resulted from the gross mistreatment of a baby.'
- 3 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
- 4 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 5 Isis publicly behead man in Syrian town square for 'insulting Allah' as he screams for help
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Michelle Obama highlights harsh restrictions faced by Saudi women after meeting King Salman without wearing a headscarf
Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
Sir David Attenborough interview: The one question about life that still baffles him
Isis publicly behead man in Syrian town square for 'insulting Allah' as he screams for help
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: Our exclusive client in St Albans Hertfords...
Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: Key Stage 2 Teachers needed in Hertfordshir...
£55000 - £58000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A truly exciting opportunity has ari...
£25000 - £28000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Credit Controller - Londo...