Monday, February 1, 2010

Dad who violently shook 3-week-old son gets only 2 years, 8 months jail time (Liverpool, England, United Kingdom)

Dad DEAN HODKINSON has been jailed for only 2 years and 8 months for his assault on his 3-week-old son. Dad is eligible for parole in only NINE MONTHS. The baby was violently shaken and left with horrible injuries: at least 17 fractured ribs, other fractures, and brain damage. The baby has also developed cerebral palsy and West Syndrome, has frequent seizures, and isn't expected to live beyond the age of 10.

This case is a good example of the dangers of glorifying an unmarried father who never had any real connection to the mother or the baby. He had a "on and off" relationship with the mother, yet he was invited to live with the family because he was the baby's dad. Or to put in frankly, sperm donor. The result is that this guy, who never had any real bond with this child at all, was able to violently lash out at the baby because of "jealousy" (of the time Mom was spending with the baby of all things!)?

It's time that we stop treating casual "on and off" boyfriends as if they were the same as a solid, loving husband who has made a commitment to having a family. You don't need to live with a guy or invite him into your home just because he got you pregnant.

Wirral grandmother: Baby shake father destroyed all of us
Feb 1 2010

THE grandmother of a baby boy left brain damaged by his dad today told of the family’s devastation.

Little Anthony Payne was just three weeks old when he was shaken violently by his jealous father Dean Hodkinson.

Last week the 21-year-old was jailed for two years and eight months for the attack on his defenceless son.

Today Anthony’s gran, Carol Payne, spoke out to put the record straight and tell of the tragic consequences of Hodkinson’s rage on both her and her daughter – the baby’s mum Cara.

Her previously healthy grandson suffered bleeding and damage to the brain, fractures to at least 17 ribs and breaks to his collar bones and both shoulders.

The 36-year-old, from Wallasey, said: "The doctors have given Anthony a life expectancy of between five and 10 years.

"He has cerebral palsy and West Syndrome so he fits up to 50 times a day and he’s on the maximum amount of medication.

"Even though I know he has those fits I hate seeing him like that.

"The police told us that they thought they were going to have a murder investigation on their hands and that they used to say a prayer for Anthony."

For Carol Hodkinson’s sentence, which could see him apply for parole in nine months time, isn’t enough.

She said: "It makes you ask ‘is that what a life’s worth?’ – Anthony has to live with those injuries for the rest of his life."

And it’s not just Anthony’s life that has been scarred by Hodkinson.

Carol said: "When it first happened and the house was taped off by the police people thought it was us.

"We’ve had death threats and bricks thrown at the car. When my partner Darren went to the corner shop he was stopped and told ‘we know you’re a child murderer and we’re telling you to get out’. So we didn’t go back to Poulton Road after that. My youngest daughter had to move schools."

The whole family were initially police suspects. But within days all but Hodkinson had been ruled out.

Carol said: "We were all questioned by the police. But none of us was ever charged with anything. It was Dean."

Hodkinson, who was having a relationship with Carol’s daughter Cara, was invited to live with them and become part of the family.

She added: "He and Cara were on and off. But we wanted him in Anthony’s life because he was his dad.

"He never showed any violence towards Cara and at first he was pleased at the news they were having a baby.

"But he was jealous of Cara’s time with the baby."

After being charged with the attack Carol claimed Hodkinson humiliated Cara by demanding a DNA test to prove the baby was his.

And she said throughout the court case he never showed remorse or tried to find out how his son was doing.

Former squaddie Hodkinson denied causing grievous bodily harm with intent and grievous bodily harm.

And last April a Liverpool Crown Court jury failed to reach a verdict.

But last month, as his retrial was due to begin, Hodkinson pleaded guilty to the lesser charge.

He showed no emotion as he was jailed for the attack on his vulnerable, three-week-old baby son.