A mother and her boyfriend have been found guilty in the death of a four-month-old baby who suffered 28 fractures and a tragic brain injury. Katherine Cox and her boyfriend, Danny Shepherd were found guilty for causing or allowing the death of the child as well as causing or allowing serious physical injury to a child. The 33-year-old woman and her lover have denied any complicity in the death of Eli Cox who died in April last year.
BBC News is reporting that the four-month-old baby died in a hospital, two weeks after an incident at his home in the United Kingdom. According to court documents, the 25-year-old boyfriend revealed that he noticed that Eli was struggling to breathe and tried to administer CPR. Cox disclosed that she also held the four-month-old baby upside down and shook him vigorously after he turned blue.
The 33-year-old woman and 25-year-old man were the only adults present when the alleged incident occurred.
Cox, a mother-of-nine would later call emergency services. A crowd of neighbors had gathered outside by the time an ambulance arrived at the house. Cox recapped her story to police officers, telling them that she found a lifeless Eli on the bed with “ooze coming out of his nose.”
Mum of nine and her partner found guilty of causing the death of her five-month old baby Eli Cox https://t.co/Umvz7sruzP
— The Independent (@Independent) August 3, 2017
The court heard that the four-month-old baby’s heartbeat was restored in the hospital, but he could not breathe without support. It was later discovered that he had suffered a devastating brain injury. Two small round bruises were later found at the back of his head.
In addition, a bone pathologist disputed the claims of Cox and Shepherd arguing that Eli’s bones had been fractured in 28 places. The specialist said 19 of the injuries were consistent with “pulling, twisting, grasping, and crushing,” adding that the injuries were inflicted on different occasions from when he was just 10 weeks old up to the day he was brought to the hospital.
Prosecutor Jennifer Knight pointed out that a post mortem established the cause of death as a “shaking or shaking impact type and that Eli had suffered skeletal injuries on many different occasions leading up to his death.” Further examinations showed that Eli had been deprived of oxygen to the brain, suggesting that he had suffered a bleeding around his optic nerves and a brain injury.
His hair sample also showed that he had been occasionally exposed to cocaine and regularly exposed to amphetamine. According to Mail Online,five bags of amphetamine drugs were found in the couple’s garden when police searched their home.
— ITV News Meridian (@itvmeridian) August 3, 2017
The pair was well known to the police as they were called to their home, just weeks before Eli’s death. The mother-of-nine has 12 previous convictions including burglary, shoplifting, handling stolen goods, and assault causing bodily harm. Her 25-year-old boyfriend is alleged to have a low IQ and the judge has asked for a psychiatric report to confirm.
The judge revealed that sentencing would be passed after the report was submitted, adding that it was imperative for the statement to concentrate on mental health complications which might be relevant to culpability.
Neighbors speaking to Kent Online divulged the consistent chaos emanating from Cox and Shepherd’s residence. A neighbor, Abbie Jackson recalled a day when Cox came banging on her door asking if her boyfriend was there. Jackson said, “five minutes later she was beating him up.”
— BBC Radio Kent (@BBCRADIOKENT) August 3, 2017
Detective Inspector Ivan Beasley described the death of Eli Cox as extremely tragic, adding that the baby boy’s life was abruptly cut short by people that were meant to protect him from harm.
“None of us will ever understand what compels people to cause harm to children, and it is unfortunately true to say that Eli suffered more than most and was robbed of his life before it had barely begun.”
The maximum sentence Cox and Shepherd could face is 14 years.
[Featured Image by Chainatp/Thinkstock]