Devon man's baby murder conviction overturned

Michael Burridge. Pic: Irving of Exeter
Image caption Michael Burridge has had a manslaughter verdict substituted for his offence

A former soldier from Devon jailed for life for murdering his eight-week-old son has had conviction overturned by the Court of Appeal.

Michael Burridge, 30, from Tavistock, was jailed in March 2008.

Baby Rees died in 2006 after suffering injuries prosecutors said occurred when Burridge shook him.

The three senior judges in London substituted a manslaughter verdict. Burridge will be sentenced for that offence at a later date.

'Blue and lifeless'

At his original trial, Plymouth Crown Court heard that Burridge, then a milkman, was looking after his son when his wife, Donna, went out shopping on 30 September 2006.

He took Rees to hospital where medics said the baby was "blue and lifeless". He died two days later.

Medical experts said they had found both new and old rib fractures, but doctors believed the fatal injuries were inflicted shortly before Rees was admitted to hospital.

Burridge, who had denied murder, was told he must serve at least 13 years.

He took the case to the Court of Appeal last month.

In the appeal hearing, Lord Justice Leveson, Mr Justice Irwin and Mr Justice Holroyde said the conviction would "not be sustained", substituting a manslaughter verdict.

The judges reserved their reasons for overturning the conviction and did not set a date for Burridge's re-sentencing.

Burridge will remain in custody until re-sentencing.

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