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Father jailed for nine years for manslaughter of baby son (12 October 2015)

Date: 12/10/2015
Duncan Lewis, Child Care Solicitors, Father jailed for nine years for manslaughter of baby son

Oxford Crown Court has jailed the father of an 11-week-old baby boy, who died after sustaining serious head injuries and multiple injuries to his body while in the care of his father.

Jayden Saxton was taken to the Great Western Hospital in Swindon at 2.57am on Monday, 17 November 2014. He was later transferred to the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children, from where Thames Valley Police were notified.

The baby boy was found to have significant internal head injuries, together with multiple fractures to his body. He died of his injuries the day after he was admitted to hospital, on 18 November 2014.

Police arrested Jayden’s father – 22-year-old Jordan Saxton of Wingate Close in Oxford – in connection with his son’s death in November 2014. Saxton was charged with murder on 10 March this year.

The court heard how at 5.54pm on Sunday, 16 November 2014, South Central Ambulance Service had received a 999 call regarding the collapse of a baby at Unton’s Place in Faringdon, Oxford.

Following a two-week trial at Oxford Crown Court, Saxton was found not guilty of murder, but guilty of manslaughter by a unanimous jury. He was jailed for nine years.

During the trial, the prosecution told the court that Saxton had been alone with his son on the afternoon the baby sustained the injuries.

“This was a terrible crime, which led to the untimely death of 11-week-old Jayden Saxton.

“Late afternoon on Sunday, 16 November 2014, Jordan Saxton was at home alone in Faringdon, Oxfordshire, with his son, Jayden, for just 85-minutes, when he called the emergency services to say his son had stopped breathing.

“When paramedics arrived, they found Jayden in a critical state. Jayden was rushed by ambulance to the Great Western Hospital, Swindon – and was later transferred to the Bristol Children's Hospital, where he died two days later when life support was withdrawn.

“The cause of death was a serious non-accidental brain injury.”

The prosecution told the court that brain damage and spinal cord injuries were caused by the baby being subjected to a violent assault by his father “by gripping his chest, shaking him and striking his head”.

Other injuries inflicted on the baby boy included bruising on his head and body – and fractures at 18 different places on his body, including his collarbone, both legs and ribs.

During post-mortem, old rib fractures were also discovered, indicating that Jayden had previously been forcibly gripped and shaken between 21 October and 4 November 2014.

“It is impossible to imagine a more vulnerable victim,” said the prosecution.

“Jordan Saxton denied causing the death of his defenceless son – and offered no explanation for how he obtained his injuries; but was found guilty of his manslaughter, despite his denials.

“This was an extremely difficult and complex case to prosecute. Without any eyewitnesses, we needed lengthy and highly technical evidence from top medical experts to help provide an explanation as to why this little boy died.

“This evidence enabled the prosecution to piece together what had happened – and exclude any possible innocent explanation for his death. We have worked closely with Thames Valley Police since this investigation was launched – and as a result of the hard work and diligence of the prosecution team, a just outcome has been achieved for baby Jayden.

“Our thoughts are very much with his family at this time.”

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