Mother told 'pack of lies' over Oldham baby's death

Dawid Mokrzanowski, Katarzyna Maria Gacek and Darren James Butterfield. Image copyright GMP
Image caption Mokrzanowski, Gacek and Butterfield were cleared of causing a baby to die but convicted of perverting the course of justice.

A mother who colluded with two men to tell "a pack of lies" about the death of her seven-week-old son has been jailed for 20 months.

Katarzyna Maria Gacek, 24, Dawid Mokrzanowski, 26, and Darren James Butterfield, 35, were convicted of perverting the course of justice.

Gacek's boyfriend Butterfield and live-in landlord Mokrzanowski were sentenced to 20 months at Preston Crown Court.

Thomas Gacek died of severe head injuries.

Gacek and Mokrzanowski, both of Roundthorn Road, Oldham and Butterfield of Ross Avenue, Chadderton, were cleared of causing or allowing the death of a child, while Mokrzanowski was acquitted of manslaughter.

Thomas was admitted to Royal Oldham Hospital late on 25 January with multiple bruises all over his body and severe retinal bleeding in both eyes.

He was transferred to Royal Manchester Children's Hospital but pronounced dead two days later. Medical experts concludedthe most probable cause was non-accidental, it was said.

Image copyright Not specified
Image caption Dawid Mokrzanowski was cleared of the manslaughter of Thomas Gacek

'Inflicted injuries'

Prosecutor Raymond Wigglesworth QC said a consultant paediatrician found bruises on 25 different sites, suggesting "inflicted injuries".

The post-mortem examination also showed Thomas had four fractured ribs, caused before he suffered the fatal head injury.

The court was told Gacek returned from shopping to find a cut and bruising around her son's lip.

Mokrzanowski told her the baby had fallen asleep and must have banged his mouth on the frame of his rocking cradle.

Butterfield arrived just after 14:00 but the baby was not taken to hospital until after 23:00, the jury was told.

All three defendants initially told medics and police Gacek was alone in the house in Hillside Avenue all day and she tripped on the stairs, dropped her son and fell on him.

Each later changed their story but the prosecutor said the jury was entitled to ask why they had told "a pack of lies".

Senior Investigating Officer Duncan Thorpe, of Greater Manchester Police, said: "Gacek, Mokrzanowski and Butterfield all colluded together to hide the truth of what really happened to baby Thomas that night."

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