Father jailed for life for murdering baby son
A man who murdered his four-month-old son has been jailed for life.
Reece Kelly, 31, from Workington, Cumbria, was convicted after trial at Carlisle Crown Court of murder and two counts of child cruelty.
His partner, Georgia Wright, also from Workington, Cumbria, was convicted of two counts of child cruelty.
On 15 October 2023, at 12.25pm Kelly rang an ambulance saying the couple’s son Dallas wasn’t breathing.
Paramedics attended and baby Dallas was taken to hospital but couldn’t be saved.
Kelly denied any involvement in his son’s death throughout the investigation and up to the first day of trial, when he admitted he had shaken Dallas, but claimed he hadn’t meant to cause him serious injury or death.
The pathologist determined that the cause of death was a non-accidental traumatic head injury. Fingertip bruising was present, consistent with gripping or squeezing.
Dallas was also found to have six rib fractures, five of those fractures were found to have occurred around the time of Dallas’s death. The other fracture was older, 6-12 weeks prior to Dallas’s death.
Kelly and Wright would have been aware of the previous rib fracture and yet took no action to seek treatment for Dallas.
As parents, they both failed; Dallas missed medical appointments, and was exposed to their drugs, which clearly took priority in their lives.
The pair were sentenced on 21 November 2023 at Carlisle Crown Court. Kelly was jailed for life with a 18 year minimum term. Wright was jailed for three years.
Victoria Agulló, Senior Crown Prosecutor for CPS North West, said: “This was a tragic end to Dallas’s short life.
“Dallas should have been safe with his parents whose duty was to love and care for him and protect him from harm.
“Both his parents let him down badly, their chaotic, drug filled lifestyle and lack of basic care is staggering.
“This is a case that will stay with me. I can only hope that those that loved and cared for Dallas can feel some sense of justice with the outcome of this case.”
Detective Superintendent Jenny Beattie, who led the police investigation into Dallas’s death, said: “Dallas was a four-month-old boy who was entirely defenceless from the actions of his parents, Reece Kelly and Georgia Wright.
“Any child, particularly one as young as Dallas, should have parents who care deeply for them and act in their child’s best interest at all times. Sadly, this was not the case for Dallas.
“There is never any excuse or reason to cause harm or distress to a child and I am pleased that both Reece Kelly and Georgia Wright have been held accountable for their actions.
“Both had numerous opportunities to take responsibility for what they had done, however right until the end they have both continued to act in a selfish manner.
“I would like to, once again, thank everybody involved throughout the criminal justice process in relation to this case. The evidence our investigation team uncovered has been expertly presented by prosecuting counsel Mr Richard Littler KC and Mr Tim Evans and prepared by the Crown Prosecution Service.
“The jury, who listened to and assessed emotive evidence, have diligently conducted their role in reviewing the facts of this case and coming to their conclusion.
“Our role was to investigate what had happened to Dallas, to establish the facts and to bring any offender to justice. This has been a complex investigation, one which includes distressing detail on how two people could be so cruel to their child.
“I would also like to put on record my thanks to those in our investigation team. The work they have done has led to justice being secured for Dallas.”
Notes to editors
- Reece Kelly, of Workington, Cumbria, was born on 05/09/1992 and convicted of:
- Cruelty to a person under 16 x2
- Georgia Wright of Workington, Cumbria, was born on 24/04/2000 and convicted of:
- Cruelty to a person under 16 x2
- Georgia Wright was found not guilty of causing or allowing the death of a child.