Dorset

Weymouth baby death father hanged himself

A father arrested over the death of his eight-week-old son hanged himself a month later, an inquest heard.

Antony Goatley, 26, was on bail over the death of baby Corbin who he said had choked while being fed at home in Weymouth, Dorset, last July.

But the inquest heard medical evidence showed Corbin died from injuries consistent with being shaken.

An open verdict was recorded for Corbin while the coroner ruled Mr Goatley killed himself.

The inquest heard the post-mortem examination on Corbin revealed several rib fractures that had been caused four to six weeks earlier.

Facebook message

It was around the time that he and his three-year-old sister had been left with Mr Goatley while their mother went out with friends, the hearing was told.

On that night in May, she rushed home after a panicked phone call from Mr Goatley saying Corbin would not stop crying.

Two months later the baby died at Dorset County Hospital, Dorchester, having been admitted after he stopped breathing.

Police were called when an examination revealed injuries consistent with being shaken.

Pathologists agreed the injuries were consistent with "shaken baby syndrome" despite Mr Goatley insisting to police he shook the child only "for three seconds" after he stopped breathing.

Letter to wife

The inquest also heard that Corbin's sister was admitted to hospital at a similar age with bruising on her arm.

At the time it was thought to be an infection and no full examination took place.

Mr Goatley had been bailed to live with his father in Reading, Berkshire, while police carried out further tests on Corbin's body.

He absconded and was traced through his mobile phone to a house near his family home in Weymouth on 6 August.

When police officers broke in, they found him hanged in the hallway, with a letter to his wife at his feet.

He also left a message on Facebook saying goodbye to his friends.

West Dorset coroner Michael Johnson said: "Incidents like this strike at the heart of family life.

"The repercussions will continue for many years to come, with people asking how and why it happened.

"The sad thing is that the family has had to lose a child and a father."

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