In the UK, a father was devastated after his 2-month-old baby boy was murdered by his stepdad and he has spoken out about the heartbreak over “never even holding” his infant son.
Liam Gibb, 34, from St Neots, Cambridgeshire, shared how he has been left ”empty”, ”angry” and ”lost” while mourning for the son he was never even able to hold.
Kane Mitchell, 31, murdered his partner’s 2-month-old baby, Teddie Mitchell, in a “violent assault” that left the infant with serious brain injuries.
The stepdad attacked Teddie by gripping him hard, shaking him “vigorously” and striking his head against a hard surface. It was suggested this happened after he lost his temper with the crying baby, Meto UK reports.
While Lucci Smith, 29, Teddie’s mom was out on the school run, Kane had a “sudden temper and frustration with Teddie” causing the baby boy’s fatal injuries.
In a police interview, Kane appeared to be convinced that he was Teddie’s biological father, although DNA results later proved this to be wrong.
”I am so angry,” Liam, a former landscape gardener, said. “There are no words that can fully describe how I feel. After we split I wasn’t able to have any involvement in the pregnancy, the birth, and didn’t even meet him when he was born.”
“I never even held him or saw him in the flesh,” he continued. “I never got to meet my boy or watch him grow up. I’ll never get to read to him or take him to football. I don’t know how to grieve for something I never had.”
”My son was murdered but it’s not just me upset; my family is heartbroken too,” Liam added. “They’ve robbed my mum of her grandson, she’s a wreck. I hate what has happened, it’s very hard to keep my anger in check.”
Kane had been in a relationship with Teddie’s mum, Lucci, for eight months, and had been living with them in St Neots, Cambridgeshire, in 2019.
Cambridge Crown Court heard that while Kane was not Teddie’s biological father, the pair raised him when his mom and biological father had broken down months before he was born.
Prosecutor Karim Khalil QC had told the court Teddie was “subjected to a violent assault” in the flat on 1 November 2019 and died after ten days on a life support machine.
“He received fatal injuries as a result of being gripped hard, shaken vigorously, and having his head struck against a hard surface,” Khalil said.
Jurors were told Teddie suffered rib fractures, fractures to his collar bone, and a fractured skull, and died from serious brain injuries.
The injuries suffered “would have led to Teddie screaming in pain… up to a point when he would have become unconscious”, the court heard.
Kane was found guilty of murder after a jury ruled, he had inflicted fatal injuries. He was jailed for life, with the judge imposing a minimum 18-year jail term. He was also handed a 5-year concurrent sentence for cruelty or allowing serious physical harm to a child with 247 days taken off his sentence for time served.
Lucci was also found guilty by the jury of neglect but was acquitted on charges of causing or allowing death and serious injury. She was handed a two-year community order.
According to reports, Lucci had returned from a school run and when she came home, she found Teddie lethargic and, after eventually calling a GP, was advised to call 999, but waited half an hour before doing so.
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.
Officers and medical staff were concerned about how Teddie received his injuries and 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, where doctors concluded he would not recover.
The medical staff kept Teddie stable on a life support machine, however, after ten days, a decision was made to withdraw the life support and Teddie passed away shortly after. A post mortem revealed he died as a result of his fractured skull and lack of oxygen to the brain.
“I’d heard worrying rumors about Kane but there was nothing I could do,” Liam said. “I felt so helpless. I found out Teddie was in hospital from a neighbor, no one even had the respect to ring me and let me know.”
“I’m livid about the whole thing,” the grieving father said. “It has left me suicidal. I’ll always be known as the man whose son was murdered, it still doesn’t feel real, it’s too surreal.”
”I’m still fighting to even get on the birth certificate,” he added. “I feel like I’ve had zero rights throughout this, it’s disgusting. But we’ve had his funeral now, which I had to arrange with Lucci, that was hard. But I want to start healing now, I just wish I had more than a few pictures to remember my son by.”
Justice Knowles said that Kane did not intend to kill the child but “in sudden temper and frustration with Teddie” he did mean to “cause really serious harm” to him.
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