Wed, 20 Jul 2011
An uncle who killed his four-month-old niece when he shook her and then hurled her into her cot at her home in Birmingham has been jailed for five years and three months.
Jason Roberts, 24, of Bartley Green, Birmingham, had previously admitted the manslaughter of Aalihya Jordan-Fellows.
He had been accused of murdering the baby girl following a trial at the city’s Crown Court but was acquitted of the charge.
In passing sentence Mrs Justice Macur said: “I bear in mind that the result of your criminal act was the death of a very vulnerable four-month-old child.
“But I accept you had been taking more and more responsibility for her care as she was progressively neglected by her own mother who pursued her relationship with her new partner to the detriment of her child.
"I am satisfied that you loved Aalihya and that you placed great store in her welfare.
"You were left caring for Aalihya having had no sleep for the previous 24 hours and having taken cannabis at some stage during that time.
“I am satisfied that the account that you eventually gave in evidence resembled the truth and that you described a temporary loss of control borne out of frustration at being unable to assuage the little girl’s cries and screams of distress.”
Christopher Hotten, QC, prosecuting, had earlier told the court that at the end of November 2008 Aalihya’s mother Bobbiellen Jordan, who lived in Kinlet Avenue, West Heath, had split up with the girl’s father and formed a relationship with a new partner.
He said there was a dramatic change in the household with loud music being played into the early hours, cannabis being smoked and large amounts of alcohol being consumed.
Increasingly Roberts was left to babysit while Jordan and her new partner went out on the town.
In the early hours of December 29 Jordan and her partner went to hospital and Roberts was left to look after Aalihya. He later made a 999 call.
Paramedics arrived to discover the little girl lifeless in her bedroom and investigations revealed she had suffered a number of injuries including, bruising, broken ribs and a fractured skull.
Mr Hotten said the fatal injury occurred to Aalihya when she hit her head on the side of the cot after being thrown there by Roberts. James Burbidge, QC, defending said: “The defendant loved the child. He was keen to offer what assistance he could in feeding her and caring for her.
“He will have to live day by day with the knowledge that it was his actions that caused her to die.”
At a previous hearing Jordan, 21, who had admitted a charge of child cruelty, was sentenced to a three-year community order.
Click to view the profile for Christopher Hotten QC - Prosecuting