A man who murdered an 11-week-old baby has been jailed for life, after leaving the boy with numerous injuries including a fractured skull and bleed to the brain.
Kane Mitchell, of no fixed address but formerly of St Neots, inflicted a catalogue of injuries on Teddie Mitchell at his home in St Neots. These injuries led to Teddie’s death in hospital on the 11th November 2019.
Mitchell, 31, was found guilty of murder last month following a four-week trial. On Friday 5th February at Cambridge Crown Court, he was sentenced to life in prison with a minimum tariff of 18 years, minus the time served on remand.
Mitchell was ordered to serve a further five years concurrent for allowing / causing serious harm to a child.
Teddie’s mother, Lucci Smith, 30, of Pattison Court, St Neots, who was found guilty of neglect, was given a two-year community order.
Both have been barred from activities with children.
The Court heard how Teddie had suffered weeks of neglect and rough handling during his short life.
Mitchell and Smith lived together with baby Teddie and had been in a relationship for about eight months.
On 1st November 2019 at 15:00 hours, the ambulance service was called to Pattison Court, St Neots, where Teddie was found to be unresponsive and in cardiac arrest.
Smith had left the baby in the care of Mitchell while she did the morning school run. On her return, she noticed Teddie seemed lethargic and wouldn’t take his bottle.
She later contacted a GP after Teddie’s condition deteriorated and was advised to call 999. But she waited about half an hour before finally calling for help.
Teddie was rushed to the Special Care Baby Unit at Hinchingbrooke Hospital, Huntingdon, where doctors discovered he had a fractured skull and a significant bleed on the brain.
Due to both officers and medical staff being concerned about how Teddie received his injuries, Mitchell and Smith were both arrested at the hospital. Teddie was later transferred to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge for a specialist neurology assessment and placed in intensive care on life support. Sadly, doctors concluded he would not recover.
Teddie was kept stable on a life support machine, however, after 11 days, a decision was made to withdraw the life support and he passed away shortly after. A post mortem revealed Teddie died as a result of his fractured skull and lack of oxygen to the brain.
During the trial, the jury were read statements from neighbours who said they had heard arguments coming from the address on a regular basis and that the household had been unsettled since Mitchell moved in.
Cambridgeshire Police said that when interviewed, Mitchell said he believed he was Teddie’s biological father. However, DNA results following the death revealed he was not. He could not explain how Teddie came to suffer his fatal injuries.
In Smith’s police interview, she claimed her and Mitchell were in a loving relationship and they rarely argued. She also couldn’t explain how Teddie came to have his fatal injuries.
The jury deliberated for two days following the four-week trial before reaching a verdict.
Detective Inspector Lucy Thomson, from the Beds Cambs and Herts Major Crime Unit, said:
“This is a tragic and terrible case in which an 11-week-old baby lost his life at the hands of a person who should have been there to protect him.
“Our investigation found that Teddie had suffered multiple injuries during his short life which neither Mitchell or Smith could account for.
“The conclusion of this case won’t bring Teddie back, but it does bring some justice for what he endured.”
In sentencing, the officers were commended for their diligent and professional investigation by Judge Robin Knowles.
An NSPCC spokesperson said:
“This is a deeply disturbing case, in which a baby was murdered by a man, who had taken on the role of his parent and so should have been the very one protecting and nurturing him.
“Tragic cases like this, underline the vulnerability of babies who are completely dependent on their parents and carers for their welfare.
“It’s so important that people come forward and report child abuse whenever there’s worry. Please call the NSPCC helpline confidentially on 0808 800 5000.”
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