Devon

Thomas Durkin acquitted of 'violently shaking' baby to death

  • 9 October 2013
  • From the section Devon

A man has been acquitted of "violently shaking" his partner's nine-month-old son to death while babysitting.

Thomas Durkin, 26, of Plymouth was accused of the manslaughter of John-Jay Connor at his home in Hemyock, near Taunton on 14 June 2011.

The jury heard that Mr Durkin called paramedics an hour after his partner had left the boy with him and that the baby was "lifeless" when they arrived.

Mr Durkin was found not guilty at Bristol Crown Court.

The court had been told that the boy's mother Andrea Glover had waved goodbye to her "giggling" and "happy" son at around noon as she left him with Mr Durkin to run errands.

At 13:05 BST, Mr Durkin had called for an ambulance and on arrival, paramedics had found John-Jay "lifeless".

He was taken to hospital by air ambulance, but was pronounced dead at 14:24.

Mr Durkin said he had fallen asleep on the sofa with John-Jay beside him and woken to find him on the floor with his eyes half open, making a gurgling noise and not moving.

He said he had splashed cold water on the boy, dunked him in a cold bath to revive him and then began shaking him for about 30 seconds.

The jury found him not guilty after a week-long trial.

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