Wales

Dad guilty of shaking 15-week-old baby son to death

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Media captionWarning: This video contains distressing content (Credit: Crown Prosecution Service)

A father has been found guilty of manslaughter after shaking his 15-week-old son to death.

Cody Rhys Williams-Jones died in December 2016 - it was later revealed he had suffered 13 broken ribs and a fractured shoulder.

Matthew Jones, 26, of Beaufort, Blaenau Gwent, claimed the injuries were caused when he accidentally dropped him.

Newport Crown Court heard Cody suffered injuries similar to "being thrown many feet from a vehicle".

A pathologist told jurors he had so many haemorrhages in his eyes, it was impossible to count them.

Jones told the jury his son fell on to a mattress and bounced 2ft (0.6m) in the air.

Image copyright Matthew Jones
Image caption Matthew Jones said he accidentally dropped Cody, but medical evidence contradicted his claims

During the trial, prosecutor Paul Lewis QC said: "The medical evidence is such that an accidental fall can be excluded.

"Cody's injuries were as a result of deliberate violence probably in the form of both shaking and impact."

Bethan Morgan was a departmental nurse in charge of A&E at Abergavenny's Nevill Hall Hospital when Cody arrived on the evening of 6 December and was initially told he had suffered a head injury.

She described Cody's mother Paula Williams, who was not present when he was injured, as "shocked, very stunned" and said Jones was crying and "still very upset".

She added: "Dad [Jones] said he had been holding the baby and stumbled with the baby."

Surgeon Daniel Morrison told jurors Cody's injuries were "the consequence of an impact and/or shaking-type of head injury".

Image copyright Family photo
Image caption Cody Rhys Williams-Jones died of his injuries when he was 15 weeks old

Dr Katharine Halliday, a consultant paediatric radiologist, said the baby's fractured shoulder was usually seen in the context of child abuse.

Jones - who was cleared of murder - said he was always "very gentle" with Cody and loved spending "father and son time" with him.

He sobbed in the dock when the verdict was read out and will be sentenced on Wednesday.

Susan Crossley of the Crown Prosecution Service said: "Cody had everything to live for and that chance was taken away by his own father.

"It is difficult to imagine the heartbreak the family has gone through and our thoughts are firmly with them."

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