A father who shook his 10-week-old son so hard he died from brain damage has been jailed for six-and-a-half years, police said.
Christopher Barnes, 28, a heating engineer of Barlavington Way, Midhurst, West Sussex, was sentenced at Lewes Crown Court on Friday for manslaughter and causing grievous bodily harm to his son Harry, who died in June 2017.
Harry’s mother Laura Millins said: “We now have justice for Harry after going through something so traumatic that has changed our lives forever.”
In a statement issued through police, she added: “As we approach what would have been Harry’s second birthday we finally have the truth. Harry will always be in our hearts.”
A detailed forensic examination concluded his death was the result of a brain injury, Sussex Police said.
Detective Chief Inspector Emma Heater said: “Harry Barnes was only 10 weeks old when he suffered fatal injuries as a result of being forcibly shaken by his father Christopher Barnes.
“Sadly medical evidence showed that this was not the first time Harry had been injured.
“Investigating the death of a child is upsetting for everyone involved and especially the family. Harry’s mum has asked me to make this statement on her behalf.”
She added: “I would urge anyone who is struggling to cope with a baby or child to seek the support and help of family, friends and professionals.”
The prosecution followed an investigation by the Surrey and Sussex Major Crime Team and a serious case review (SCR) is being carried out by the independent West Sussex Safeguarding Children Board.
An SCR in England is held after the death of a child under circumstances where abuse or neglect are thought to be involved, with the purpose of preventing similar incidents from happening in the future.