Glasgow & West Scotland

Kilmarnock teenager cleared of killing baby son

A teenager has been cleared of killing his five-day-old son.

Jack Butterworth was accused of causing the death of baby Lucas by attacking his pregnant partner Katie Strawhorn.

Ms Strawhorn, 20, was said to have suffered a "placental abruption" resulting in the child being born by emergency caesarean section. Lucas died five days later.

The 18-year-old, from Kilmarnock, East Ayrshire, denied the assault. The charge was found not proven.

Lucas died in hospital in November 2016, leading to Mr Butterworth being accused of his son's culpable homicide.

The teenager denied hitting Ms Strawhorn and said she had fallen in the street.

Ms Strawhorn was said to have claimed Mr Butterworth had punched her "full force" in the stomach, but the trial heard she had earlier told police she was not assaulted.

She went on to tell jurors she was still "in love" with Butterworth.

'Unsettled' relationship

The charge was found not proven following a two-week trial at the High Court in Glasgow.

The court heard that the couple started dating on New Years Day 2016.

They soon moved in with each other in Kilmarnock before Ms Strawhorn discovered she was pregnant.

She told the trial the relationship was initially "good" but added they were then "unsettled emotionally and financially".

The alleged attack occurred in the early hours of 3 November in Kilmarnock.

It was claimed tensions had risen after Mr Butterworth refused to get ice for his partner.

Ms Strawhorn was 36 weeks pregnant at the time.

Assault charges

She left the flat they had been living in, but was followed by her boyfriend.

Prosecutors alleged Mr Butterworth kicked her in the stomach before chasing her, which caused her to "flee and fall".

Mr Butterworth had also been accused of a separate charge of assaulting Ms Strawhorn as well as another of behaving in a threatening manner, but the charges were dropped by prosecutors during the trial.

He had already admitted breaching bail by continuing to contact Ms Strawhorn while on remand, despite being ordered by a sheriff not to.

Judge Lord Ericht admonished Mr Butterworth for the bail breach.

After being acquitted of the killing, Mr Butterworth's QC said the teenager wanted to "express his profound regret".

Gary Allan, defending, added: "He is devastated that the young life of Lucas Strawhorn was affected so adversely by the misadventure that took place that night.

"It will remain with him for the rest of his life."

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