Wales

Dad who shook baby son to death jailed for nine years

Cody Rhys Williams-Jones Image copyright Family photo
Image caption Cody's mother Paula Williams was not present when he suffered the fatal injuries

A father who shook his baby son to death has been jailed for nine years for his manslaughter.

Cody Rhys Williams-Jones was 15 weeks old when he died in December 2016 after suffering injures "similar to being thrown many feet from a vehicle".

Matthew Jones, 26, of Beaufort, Blaenau Gwent, had claimed he had accidentally dropped Cody while alone with him.

His trial at Newport Crown Court had heard Cody had 13 broken ribs and a fractured shoulder.

Sentencing Jones, the judge Mr Justice Picken said seven expert witnesses had "spoken with one voice" during the trial that it was "not an accident".

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

The judge said Jones "essentially lost it" and allowed frustration at not being able to settle Cody when he was crying to "spin into anger".

He said Jones himself had previously described losing his temper as "white rage".

Mr Justice Picken said "no sentence is ever likely to match the responsibility you will feel for the rest of your life.

"You must live with the knowledge your son died as a result of what you did to him."

The court heard Jones had been alone with Cody while his partner, Cody's mother Paula Williams, had been out helping her sister.

Jones had become frustrated when he could not settle Cody and "self-control deserted him".

'Persisting remorse'

The judge said it was agreed that it was a "loss of temper" as a result of working long and unsociable hours.

Defending, Richard Smith QC said aside from his crime Matthew Jones was a "thoroughly decent young man who cared immensely for his young son".

He said Jones and Cody's mother were "exhausted, lacking in sleep, trying to get through" life with a young baby.

He added that although Jones had not had the "courage" to admit to his crime, he felt "genuine and persisting remorse".

Jones will serve half the sentence in prison before being released to serve the rest on licence.

A spokesman for children's charity NSPCC Wales said: "Baby Cody was tragically failed by a man who should have been protecting him.

"Jones' role as a father was to keep his child safe from harm - instead he caused him horrific injuries with devastating consequences."

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