In the UK, a dad has killed his baby boy by causing brain damage through brutal shaking as the mom covers up the abuse.
Mihai-Catalin Gulie, 28, caused irreversible brain damage to Robert Ion, who was just six months old when the attack was carried out on February 18 this year.
Gabriela Ion, 35, Robert’s son, was out at the shops when the attack took place but had previously covered up other attacks on baby Robert who was born with Down Syndrome.
But prosecutors said it wasn’t the first time Robert had been attacked by his dad. His mom Gabriela previously tried to cover up the baby’s bruises and injuries including broken ribs with toothpaste.
She admitted doing so and said that she Googled how to hide her son’s bruises but said she didn’t foresee the fatal attack and blamed her husband for the killing.
Robert spent the first months of his life in hospital after being diagnosed with Down Syndrome at birth but then he was found unresponsive two-and-a-half months after coming home to live with his parents and sister, 2, in Widnes, Cheshire.
The parents tried to revive him by putting water on his face and tapping his back but Guile eventually had to ring a friend to call an ambulance as he couldn’t speak English.
Paramedics who raced to the scene said Robert initially showed no signs of life but was taken to hospital after six minutes of CPR. He was placed in an induced coma, with tests showing he had sustained an irreversible, non-survivable brain injury and a skull fracture.
The little boy died from his injuries three days later on February 21. The trial heard that Robert had battled a range of medical complications and spent most of his tragically short life in hospital.
Later examinations revealed he had other injuries including fractured ribs and a brain injury, believed to date back to around February 7.
Nicholas Johnson, QC, prosecuting, said Robert suffered catastrophic injuries at the hands of Gulie, who was alone in the house while Ion and their daughter had gone to a nearby corner shop.
He said Gulie forcefully shook his son, probably impacting his head too, which caused extensive internal bleeding and over-stretching of vulnerable structures inside Robert’s brain and spinal cord, quickly leading to a heart attack.
Ion admitted Robert was helpless and she didn’t defend him, claiming she was in fear of Gulie and didn’t know Robert was so ill.
There were also transcripts of calls made to Ion’s sister from prison where she admits that she knew her husband had been “shaking and beating” Robert but still hadn’t taken him to hospital, the jury was told.
John Benson QC, defending Ion, said: “The sad reality is that on the morning of February 18, you lost your temper and you shook little Robert and probably threw him down on the sofa.”
“You were responsible for the injuries that later claimed his life. No doubt you bitterly regret it and wish you could turn the clock back. But you can’t admit it,” he added.
Gulie replied: “How could I admit to something I haven’t done?”
The dad said the only time he used violence against Robert was when he “slapped him gently on the bottom” and dropped him a short height onto some pillows.
The couple denied any wrongdoing in a 14-day trial at Liverpool Crown Court.
Gulie was found guilty of murder and Ion was convicted of causing or allowing the death of their child, according to Liverpool Echo. They showed no emotion when jurors returned the unanimous verdicts after three hours and 44 minutes of deliberation.
Other members of their family said Robert had been “cruelly taken away from us in the place where he should have been protected and safe”.
High Court judge Justice Amanda Yip said the couple will be sentenced on November 26 and remanded them both in custody.
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