Craig Williams, who designed the crib in which 7-month-old Oscar Abbey died, was found guilty and has been sent to prison for three years and four months.
Williams, himself a father of three, pled guilty on Wednesday to failing to discharge an employer’s general duty and a fraud charge, per the BBC. He was also originally charged with gross negligence manslaughter, but upon changing his initial plea, the jury was asked to return a not guilty verdict on this charge.
The court heard how Williams had explicitly told Oscar’s parents, Charlie and Shannon Abbey, that the crib he sold them was suitable for children aged 6- or 7-months-old. Feeling assured, the couple forked out £655 (approximately $850) including delivery costs, for the bespoke crib with an attached slide.
According to York Press, the 7-month-old was already dead when his father discovered him with his head face down in the front of the cot. It appears as if Oscar Abbey died trying to crawl through a gap, but his head got stuck, which led to him suffocating face down on the bed. Mr. Abbey described his horrific find in a statement which was read during the court trial.
“I instantly realized he’s gone.”
“It looked like he’d tried to crawl out backwards but his head was stuck.”
WATCH: Playtime Beds boss sent to prison for more than 3 years. Craig Williams' actions led to the death of a 7-month-old baby in York – were "solely motivated by money", said police:https://t.co/uNEPDJxSaM pic.twitter.com/93X09Bk8HF
— The Press (@yorkpress) October 26, 2018
Prosecutors told the court that Williams had “an utterly indifferent attitude towards the safety of small children, even after he had been visited by police in relation to Oscar’s death.” The prosecution led evidence to show how he persisted in making and selling the beds even after the little boy died, despite being directed to stop trading by the authorities. Williams did not even both to change the bed design which had cost Oscar his life.
Judge Martin Spencer did not spare Williams, who is the owner and designer at Playtime Beds, and told him that he showed a “flagrant disregard” for British safety regulations and that by continuing to sell the ribs after Oscar’s death, he had committed fraud. The judge handed down the sentence, impressing upon Williams the severity of his actions that led to the baby’s death.
“You should bear the brunt of that responsibility for the rest of your life.”
Detective Superintendent Nigel Constello told the court that the Abbeys had been through a painful loss, a two-year investigation, and then were made to relive the experience during the court case.
“The actions of Williams and Bruce were deplorable. The death of Oscar was preventable. As the investigation developed and unfolded, we found that Williams and Bruce were solely motivated by money and were willing to sacrifice children’s safety in the pursuit of it.”