Babysitting aunt jailed for 'shaken baby' manslaughter

  • Published
Chuanfang Zheng outside Leicester Crown Court
Image caption,
Chuanfang Zheng tried to blame the baby's mother for some of the injuries

An aunt who "repeatedly, vigorously and aggressively" shook her baby niece has been jailed for six years for the girl's manslaughter.

Chuanfang Zheng was babysitting seven-month-old Phoebe Guo in March 2015 as her parents worked at a nearby takeaway in Lutterworth, Leicestershire.

The baby became unconscious and died four days later.

Zheng, 31, of Mortlock Close, Southwark, London, was found guilty of manslaughter at Leicester Crown Court.

Image caption,
Zheng was told her actions had devastated her family

During the trial, the court heard Phoebe suffered "significant bleeding" on the brain and behind the eye within half an hour of being left with Zheng.

With the unconscious baby in her arms, Zheng ran to the Chinese takeaway next door where the baby's parents worked.

Phoebe was then taken by car to hospital where '"extensive" medical efforts were made to save her, the court was told.

However, she died four days later from her injuries, having never regained consciousness.

Passing sentence, Judge Nicholas Dean QC said: "Experts agree this was an extreme example of abusive head trauma".

He added Zheng's defence, that Phoebe's mother had shaken the child, was an aggravating factor.

"Ms Zheng's actions have devastated her family and caused immense distress," he said.

"The pain of loss for Ling Ling was clear when she gave evidence. That pain must have been intensified by the knowledge Ms Zheng was falsely blaming her for Phoebe's death."

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