A man from Eastbourne has been jailed for his part in the death of a three-week-old baby boy.
Samuel Davies, 24, who is believed to have attended Bourne School and then went on to senior school and college in Eastbourne, and his 30-year-old ex-partner Roxanne Davis were both given 10 year prison sentences at Winchester Crown Court on Friday for what a judge called the “brutal death” of little Stanley Davis.
The pair were found guilty of causing the death of Stanley during their stormy relationship.
Stanley died of a fatal skull fracture and brain haemorrhage on March 28 after a prolonged stint of child abuse at a flat in Gosport.
The jury heard the little boy was subjected to 32 fractures to his ribs and nine fractures to his arms and legs during three separate occasions – many of which were brutal re-fractures.
The court heard Judge Jane Miller QC, who told jurors last week they had reached ‘absolutely the right decision’ following four days of deliberations, said, “I cannot be sure which one of you it was that delivered the fatal blow but the other ought to have foreseen the risk. You failed to take steps to protect Stanley and are therefore equally culpable. Either one of you should have stood up to the other one and removed Stanley from danger.”
Prior to sentence in mitigation, Davis’s barrister Katie Thorne QC still maintained the mum was not responsible.
“It’s always been our case she did not cause the injuries,” she said.
“There were steps taken (to protect Stanley) but we accept they were not enough. Stanley’s death has had a profound impact on her.”
Defending Davies, who was not the child’s biological father, Sally Howes QC admitted there was ‘undeniable brutality’ that led to Stanley’s death before adding, “The fact Mr Davies had no outpouring of emotion does not mean he does not feel remorse and he wants to express his sadness and feelings of guilt.”
The jury heard during the five week trial that Davis, of Lee Road, Gosport, and Davies, of Mayfield Road, Southampton, had a fractious relationship and took drugs.
The court was told the couple would regularly clash heads in explosive exchanges, which would see items hurled across rooms and holes punched in walls.
Prosecutors were unable to prove exactly how Stanley received his injuries.
However, pathologists told the court the fatal head injury could only have been caused by ‘serious blunt trauma’.
Dr Peter Richards, a consultant paediatric neurosurgeon, said, “It could all be explained by a forcible shake followed by an impact against something hard. I cannot exclude the possibility of being thrown across the room and against wall.”
Detective chief inspector Fiona Bitters, the police officer who led the investigation, said, “The extent of baby Stanley’s injuries at such a young age were truly shocking, no child should have to suffer in the way that he did.
“Stanley was found to have sustained 32 fractures to his ribs, nine fractures to the bones in his arms and legs, and an 8cm skull fracture which was the fatal injury.
“These fractures appear to have been sustained on three separate occasions. A difficult decision was taken by the medical team treating him at Southampton General Hospital that his life support machines would be turned off when he was just three weeks old due to the nature of his injuries. Sadly he later died.”
Hampshire Safeguarding Children Board is to conduct a serious case review into Stanley’s death.