Ex-marine found guilty of manslaughter of baby boy

20/07/2011

A former marine from Oxfordshire has today (20/7) been convicted of the manslaughter of a four-month old baby boy.

Colin Scholey (26), of Blounts Court Road, Sonning Common, was found guilty of manslaughter by a jury at Reading Crown Court, in connection with the death of Thomas Preece, on 29 June, 2009. He was sentenced by Mr Justice Saunders to serve six years in jail.

CPS prosecutor, Simon Heptonstall, said after the hearing: 'This is a tragic case where a four and a half month-old baby boy, Thomas Preece, died on 30 June, 2009, in hospital.

'The exact circumstances of the previous day, 29 June, will never be known, except by the defendant, Colin Scholey.

'We had clear medical evidence of the catastrophic injury suffered by Thomas and eminent experts were able to exclude all alternative possibilities, other than that the death of Thomas was at the hands of the man who had been entrusted with his care.

'Cases such as this one are difficult and require careful specialist investigation, examination and prosecution.

'The jury has heard all the evidence and today convicted Mr Scholey of manslaughter, and he has been sentenced accordingly for his crime.

'This verdict and punishment reflect society's concern for the protection of its youngest and most vulnerable; it can never adequately reflect the sense of loss felt by Thomas's parents, with whom our thoughts remain.'

Det Supt Karen Trego, who headed the investigation, said: 'I am pleased with the result today, which is the culmination of a long and complex investigation.

'This has been a very difficult time for Thomas's family, with emotions running high as they have to relive the ordeal.

'I hope this verdict can help give them some sort of closure and they can now try and rebuild their lives.'