Mother and ex-partner guilty over death of infant son

A mother sobbed and screamed “murderer” at her ex-partner after they were both found guilty of being responsible for the death of her three-week-old son.

Roxanne Davis, 30, of Gosport, Hampshire, and ex-partner Samuel Davies, 24, of Southampton, were convicted by a jury at Winchester Crown Court of causing or allowing the death of Stanley Davis.

The trial heard that the baby died of a skull fracture and brain haemorrhage aged just 24 days on March 28 2017.

He had also suffered 32 fractures to his ribs and nine fractures to his arms and legs sustained during three separate occasions.

After the verdicts were announced, Davies, who was not the child’s biological father, shook his head and Davis sobbed, prompting Judge Jane Miller QC to call for her to be quiet.

After the pair were told they would be remanded in custody until sentencing on December 7, Davis shouted: “You have got it wrong, Sam just tell them you done it.”

She continued: “Thanks a lot Sam you murderer.”

Judge Miller said: “They both will be remanded in custody, I cannot countenance either of them being on bail.”

The court heard that the former couple, who are not married but share similar surnames, had a fractious relationship with the police being called to the property on March 13 by neighbours who reported shouting coming from their flat.

Both defendants tested positive for cocaine and cannabis following their arrest after Stanley was taken to hospital.

The first sign that Stanley had suffered any harm was when a health visitor found a bruise behind his right ear.

Davies told the court that Stanley was looked after by himself and his co-defendant and her family, and added: “That baby from day two was passed around like a parcel.”

On the previous day, March 15, Davies had taken a photo of an article in The Sun newspaper about a mother who had taken her dead baby on to a bus to avoid detection over the child’s death from a head injury.

The court also heard that Davis posted a video on Facebook on March 20 – the day before Stanley was taken to hospital, seriously ill – of Stanley fitting, along with the comment: “My baby is 16 days should he be doing this already.”

The boy died a week later.

Giving evidence, Davis told the court that when her son was born she was “over the moon”, and added: “I had my whole world in my hands.”

Carl Anderson, of the CPS, said: “During post-natal appointments and check-ups, Davis and Davies gave medical staff the impression there were no problems with Stanley and only reported difficulties in getting him to take his milk.

“The reality was quite different. Both knew Stanley had already suffered serious injuries but neither said anything, leaving Stanley without the medical attention he desperately needed.

“Both the defendants denied killing Stanley but it was clear from all the evidence that one of them had caused the horrific head injury that killed him.

“The other was, or should have been aware, that there was a risk of serious harm to Stanley because of the multiple fractures he had already suffered but instead of doing something to prevent anything further happening to him, they did nothing.

“Our thoughts are with the members of Stanley’s extended family who have lost a child in such harrowing circumstances.”

Derek Benson, chairman of the Hampshire Safeguarding Children Board, confirmed after the trial that a review is being carried out of the handling of child’s care by the authorities.

He said: “I can confirm that an independent review relating to this case has been commissioned and a report will be published in due course on the outcome, together with any recommendations for improvements in future practice, when this work has been completed.”