The father who ‘forcefully’ shaken to death his crying son jailed for manslaughter

Matthew Banks admitted for manslaughter (Social Media)

A father who admitted that he “forcefully” shook his young son, causing injuries that eventually led to the boy’s death, was jailed.

Matthew Banks was sentenced to Winchester Crown Court after pleading guilty to the manslaughter of Leo Banks, a two-year-old boy who died more than two years after suffering a “catastrophic” brain injury.

Banks, of Chichester, said his son was crying hysterically and seemed stressed over a meal, leading to his father becoming frustrated and tired.

It was only in the morning, when Leo’s mother, Hannah Hawdon, woke up and realized that she was unwell, that medical help was called.

Sentencing the 34-year-old to three years and eight months in prison, the judge, Justice Cutts, said: “This is a tragic case. This case is compounded by Leo’s vulnerability due to his young age ”.

Jennifer Knight KC, the prosecution, told the court that the defendant had been caring for her one-month-old son through the night of December 2017 and shook him “hard” when he was attempting to catch him while giving him to. to eat.

He was taken to the hospital where tests and an MRI revealed that he had suffered a “large volume subdural hemorrhage and a brain tear”.

Ms. Knight said that about four weeks after the fatal accident, Banks admitted to Ms. Hawdon that she had shaken the baby before making further hospitalizations for other relatives and a social worker.

In a statement on the victim’s impact read in court, Ms. Hawdon said that until Banks admitted causing the fatal injury, she had been living under suspicion of harming Leo, which made her “stomach sick”. .

He added: “I will never get over the loss of my child, no mother should go through what I have been through. My life has been turned upside down by this. I will never forgive Matthew for what he did to Leo ”.

Rebecca Upton, defending Banks, said: “He was described as a loving and caring father and a very supportive partner and who was providing, along with Miss Hawdon, a good home for Leo.”

He added that he felt remorse and wanted to tell his former partner and family that “he betrayed them and he will never forgive himself. He has never wanted to hurt Leo and understands that he will not be forgiven.”

Detective Officer Detective Owen Watkins said, This is a heartbreaking case that resulted in the tragic and untimely death of an innocent two-year-old boy.

“Matthew Banks was one of the people he trusted to care for and care for Leo, but instead his actions caused injuries that Leo sadly was unable to recover from.

“We are relieved to get a guilty plea in court, as it means Leo’s family no longer faces the added trauma of reliving his death through trial. Our thoughts continue to be with all of them in this incredibly difficult time. “

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