Glasgow & West Scotland

Man jailed for shaking and killing his baby son

David Sinclair Image copyright Police Scotland
Image caption David Sinclair admitted killing the child at his home in East Kilbride in 2012

A man who shook and killed his baby son in a fit of rage because he would not feed has been jailed for seven years and three months.

David Sinclair shook four-month-old Joshua in a "momentary loss of control" at their home in East Kilbride, South Lanarkshire, on 6 December 2012.

The cause of death was only discovered after a case review by medical experts.

Sinclair, 34, was originally charged with murder but pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of culpable homicide.

'Catastrophic' consequences

Jailing him at the High Court in Glasgow, judge Lord Bracadale told Sinclair: "You assaulted your baby son by shaking him, causing the injuries which killed him.

"You must have known at the time you had shaken him, but you did not disclose that. It was only after extensive medical investigations you admitted what you had done.

"Your wife believed in you. She now feels she had been misled by you and can no longer support you."

Lord Bracadale described the effects of Joshua's death as "catastrophic" for all concerned and added: "Nothing can bring Joshua back."

The court previously heard that that on the day the child died, Sinclair and his wife Kirsty had gone swimming with Joshua and then shopping in East Kilbride.

At 17:30 Kirsty Sinclair went out to meet her mother and sister.

999 call

Just 11 minutes later she received a phone call from Sinclair, who sounded "shocked". He told her: "Joshua isn't breathing properly, come home right away." He then hung up and dialled 999.

The infant was rushed to Hairmyres Hospital where he died.

Initially the cause of Joshua's death was unascertained, but the case was reviewed by a team of medical experts who discovered evidence of trauma in the eyes and brain which could only have been caused non-accidentally, close to the time of death.

One of the experts, Dr Peter Richards, consultant paediatric neuro-surgeon at John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, said: "This would be compatible with him having suffered a shaking injury involving handling at greater force than encountered in everyday life."

Defending QC, Ian Duguid, told the court that Sinclair was "extremely remorseful" for his actions.

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