London baby shaking death sparks police plea to parents

image source, Met Police
image captionPedro Rubim shook his six-week-old son Alejandro to death in February 2016

Police and children's charities are urging people who are struggling with parenthood to seek the help they need, after a man shook his six-week-old son to death.

Pedro Rubim was jailed for eight-and-a-half years on Wednesday after killing his son, Alejandro Rubim, at their north-west London home.

Alejandro died of brain, head and eye injuries after four days in hospital.

The NSPCC said Alejandro was "robbed of his life".

Det Con David West, from the Metropolitan Police, said the case was "heartbreaking".

"Alejandro should have been safe with his father, whose duty it was to love and protect his child," he added.

"I would urge anyone who is struggling to cope with a newborn baby to reach out for help."

Rubim, from Enfield, north London, first told police and his partner that Alejandro slipped out of his bouncer and fell on a wooden floor at their flat in Camden.

He then claimed in his trial that he had shaken the baby to try to revive him after the fall.

During the baby's post-mortem examination, pathologists noted a small abrasion and two bruises on his head, as well as deep bruising to both buttocks and retinal haemorrhages typical of those seen in "head injuries of the shaking or impact type", police said.

image source, Science Photo Library
image captionDozens of babies are shaken or otherwise injured by their parents in the UK every year, the NSPCC says (stock photo)

An NSPCC spokesperson said: "Rubim should have loved, protected, and kept his son safe from harm.

"Instead, he robbed him of his life and it is right that he is now behind bars as a consequence of his actions."

The NSPCC offers advice and support for parents on coping with crying and other stressful situations, the spokesperson added.

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