A couple from Staffordshire have been jailed after they were found guilty of causing or allowing the death of their son.
Luke Morgan, aged 26, and his partner Emma Cole, aged 22, were found guilty of causing or allowing the death of two-month-old Tyler Morgan and child cruelty on May 13, following a trial at Stafford Crown Court.
Jurors heard Tyler had suffered injuries prior to his death in 2014.
Morgan was jailed for a total of eight years today (June 21) at Stafford Crown Court. Cole was sentenced to five years.
Morgan was sentenced to eight years for causing or allowing the death with a three-year sentence for child cruelty to be served concurrently. Cole was sentenced to five years for causing or allowing the death, with two years to be served concurrently for child cruelty.
Sentencing, Judge Michael Chambers QC, said: “One of you deliberately smothered the child. The other was aware of the risks and failed to protect him. I am satisfied there was a delay of up to one hour before calling an ambulance. ”
Judge Chambers said he found Morgan to be responsible for a bite mark on Tyler’s forearm and rib fractures.
The court heard that an ambulance was called to Morgan and Cole’s former home in Sunnymead Road, Burntwood, on 29 April 2014 after Morgan said he had kissed his son’s forehead and it felt cool to the touch.
Tyler was taken to Walsall Manor Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 4:30am. Morgan and Cole had been drinking prior to the call and neighbours reported loud arguments between the pair, with one neighbour saying the rows were about lack of money and ‘not wanting Tyler.’
Prior to a post mortem taking place a bite mark was found on Tyler’s arm. A Home Office post mortem was then conducted by Dr Alexander Kolar on 3 May 2014.
The cause of death was recorded as ‘unascertained’ but Dr Kolar told the court there were ‘features raising the prospect of obstruction of external airways.’
Injuries to Tyler included three rib fractures, marks to both sides of his face and the bridge of his nose and a bite mark to the right forearm.
Detective Chief Inspector Victoria Downing, of Staffordshire Police, described the case as tragic and very distressing.
“Our first thoughts are with Tyler, who was barely two-months-old when he lost his life, and his extended family.
“This has been a difficult and distressing case to bring before the courts and we are grateful to those who have provided evidence to allow the jury to reach this decision.”
DCI Downing thanked the reviewing CPS lawyer Wendy Bounds, QC Mr Andrew Smith and QC Mr James Dunstan for their work in securing convictions.
Morgan and Cole were found not guilty of murder and manslaughter at their trial.
STATEMENT FROM TYLER’S GRANDPARENTS:
Losing Tyler was the worst day of our lives. Not knowing how or why is the worst situation we could have been in. To think it’s been five years since we lost this beautiful baby boy and it’s only now, we are getting answers. We miss you so much, Tyler and not a day goes by where we don’t think of you. We would like to thank Staffordshire Police for not giving up and making sure Tyler has had a voice.
Our family has been ripped apart during the last five years. We now have to find a way of carrying on now that this trial has finished. We thank all concerned in reaching a verdict. Special thanks to the liaison officer who has supported us all through this awful time. We now need time to rebuild and heal our lives as a family. Tyler will always be in our hearts.