Convictions over death of baby in Sheppey

03/08/2017

A man and woman have been convicted of causing or allowing the death of five-month-old Eli Cox at their home on the Isle of Sheppey.

Eli's mother Katherine Cox, 33, and her partner Danny Shepherd, 25, were found guilty following a trial at Maidstone Crown Court. They were also convicted of causing or allowing serious physical harm to a child and possession of a class B drug.

Eli died on 27 April 2016, two weeks after paramedics were called to the couple’s home in Minster-on-Sea on the Isle of Sheppey. On 13 April 2016, he had suffered profound injury to his brain caused by being shaken and potentially also an impact. He never regained consciousness.

Post-mortem examination results also showed he had multiple fractures to bones throughout his body of varying ages, suggesting he had suffered repeated injury on many occasions in the weeks before his death.

Libby Clark, from the CPS, said:

"This has been a difficult case to prosecute due to the complex medical evidence and challenges in establishing the involvement of either or both of the defendants in relation to the fatal injury caused to Eli.

"When the trial started, our case was that either Danny Shepherd or Katherine Cox had caused Eli's injuries and the death, or were aware that there was a significant risk of serious physical harm being caused to him, and failed to take reasonable steps to prevent this.

"During the course of the trial and in light of the evidence given, it became possible to say that Danny Shepherd was the perpetrator of the injuries to Eli, including the assault which led to his death.

"The fatal injury and older fractures identified by one of the medical experts showed very significant similarities. This considerably undermined the defence case that they were caused by another person."