A FATHER was jailed for two-and-a-half years for inflicting grievous bodily harm against his young son in a ‘baby shaking’ case heard at Chester Crown Court.
Richard Lovell, 25, of Treborth Road, Blacon, had admitted the offence against R-Jay Lovell, who was aged just three months at the time.
The incident happened at an address in Chapel Lane, Chester, on February 6, 2012.
Prosecutor Owen Edwards said Lovell’s fiancée Leanne Bullock left him in charge while she visited her terminally ill grandfather in Mickle Trafford.
Shortly after arriving she received a text message from the defendant which read ‘Babe, R-Jay’s not breathing. xxx’
The infant was taken by ambulance to the Countess of Chester Hospital where he was found to have stopped breathing and had no pulse but was revived eight minutes later.
He was later transferred to Alder Hey Hospital in Liverpool where it was immediately apparent to medics that a non-accidental injury may have occurred.
Interviewed by police, the defendant said R-Jay slipped from his grip, his neck had swung back but he had caught the baby before he hit the ground.
The main injury was bleeding to the brain which left the infant visually impaired and permanently brain damaged. He also had a fracture to the wrist and the left forearm.
On February 29, Miss Bullock challenged her fiancé over his version of events, said the prosecutor. He said he had nearly dropped R-Jay. The baby had continued to cry ‘so he shook him to try and make him stop’. This was a significant change to his story.
Mr Edwards said Miss Bullock told him: “You will go down for this.” He allegedly replied: “Yeah, I know.”
Patrick Thompson, defending, said Lovell must ‘live with this for the rest of life’.
A hard-working chef, with no previous convictions, his client had ‘lost control’.
He said: “The background to this is perhaps found in Leanne Bullock’s statement. She said once R-Jay was born I was concerned about the hours he was working.”
Judge Elgan Edwards, Recorder of Chester, who told the defendant his actions were ‘very wrong and evil’, said: “You ruined that boy’s life. He will never be the same. He will always have to be looked after.”
He added: “I am filled with admiration for the bravery of the little boy’s mother and his grandmother.”