Stoke & Staffordshire

Parents guilty of causing baby son's death in Burntwood

Emma Cole and Luke Morgan arriving at Stafford Crown Court, where they were on trial accused of murdering their nine-week-old son Tyler. Taken on 2 April Image copyright PA
Image caption Emma Cole and Luke Morgan had both denied involvement in their baby son's death

The parents of a two-month-old baby have been found guilty of causing or allowing his death.

Tyler Morgan died after suffering broken ribs and being smothered in Burntwood, Staffordshire, in April 2014.

Stafford Crown Court heard the baby had what appeared to be a human bite mark on his arm following his death.

His parents Luke Morgan, 26, and Emma Cole, 22, were cleared of his murder and manslaughter.

The couple, of Burntwood, were also convicted of child cruelty and will be sentenced on 21 June.

Morgan and Cole had both denied playing any part in their son's death but were convicted of the lesser charges by majority of 11 to one verdicts.

Their six-week trial was told they were heard arguing and crying at their flat in the hours before Tyler was admitted to hospital.

Jurors heard claims there was a "significant" delay in contacting the emergency services after the baby's collapse in the early hours of 29 April 2014.

Tyler was taken to Walsall Manor Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 04:03 BST.

Image copyright Staffordshire Police
Image caption Luke Morgan and Emma Cole will be sentenced on 21 June

Opening the trial, prosecutor Andrew Smith told jurors Tyler collapsed due to "being intentionally smothered or his chest being compressed", which he said happened when he was alone with his parents.

"Subsequent investigations discovered that Tyler had sustained serious injuries before his death, including fractured ribs, that could only have been caused while he was in the care of his parents," he added.

Det Ch Insp Victoria Downing said had it had been a "difficult and distressing case".

"Our first thoughts are with Tyler, who was barely two-months-old when he lost his life, and his extended family," she said.

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