Manchester

Samuel Gildea jailed for baby son Alfie's shaking death

Alfie Gildea Image copyright GMP
Image caption Alfie Gildea died after being taken to hospital in cardiac arrest

A man who shook his baby son to death in an "act of deliberate violence" has been jailed.

Samuel Gildea, 30, admitted the manslaughter of four-month-old Alfie Gildea.

Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court heard the boy died two days after he was found with head injuries by his mother on 12 September 2018.

Gildea, of Partington, Trafford, who also admitted coercive and controlling behaviour, was sentenced to 19 years.

He had been due to stand trial for murder, but his guilty plea to manslaughter was accepted by the Crown on Wednesday.

Prosecutor Andrew Thomas QC said Gildea had admitted causing Alfie's death in an "act of deliberate and unlawful violence which involved rigorous and violent shaking".

Image copyright GMP
Image caption Samuel Gildea was sentenced to 19 years behind bars

The court heard Alfie's mother Caitlin McMichael had called the ambulance service to say her baby was not breathing.

When paramedics arrived at the home in Woodruff Walk the baby was in cardiac arrest.

'Never watch him grow'

He was taken to hospital where staff restarted his heart, and Gildea was arrested after his son's injuries were deemed to be non-accidental.

The baby's life support was turned off the following day.

Gildea had a history of involvement with mental health services, the court heard.

Blood samples taken from the defendant the day after his son's death showed traces of cocaine and cannabis in his system, consistent with recent use.

The prosecution said Gildea was also controlling towards Ms McMichael and had accused her of cheating on him.

He had grabbed her face or neck and pulled her hair, as well as threatening more serious violence and was arrested in July last year after a neighbour reported him.

He was then given a domestic violence prevention order which banned him from contact with Ms McMichael for a month.

Speaking after the sentencing hearing, Ms McMichael said: "I will never watch my boy grow, receive a card on Mother's Day or hear him call me mummy."

Det Ch Insp Colin Larkin said it was a "truly heartbreaking" case.

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