A MUM and her ex-boyfriend’s desperate attempts to blame each other for the ‘brutal’ death of their baby after inflicting ‘catastrophic’ injuries were rejected after both were found guilty at court.
Sinister duo Roxanne Davis, 30, and Samuel Davies, 24, were both deemed responsible for the chilling death of new born baby Stanley during their stormy relationship, jurors at Winchester Crown Court found.
Davis, who had repeatedly wept throughout the trial and was even seen doing cartwheels in the court lobby, broke down in tears and hung her head in shame as the unanimous verdict by the seven men and five women was returned after four days.
Davies was motionless but for a shake of the head.
Davis then lashed out at her former partner. ‘You murdered my baby. You’ve got this wrong,’ she said before she was led away shouting.
A scuffle was then heard after they were taken down while police were called to intervene as events erupted in the public gallery.
Turning to the jury, judge Jane Miller QC said: ‘If it’s any consolation I think you reached absolutely the right verdict.’
The cocaine-loving pair will now be sentenced on December 7 when they find out their fate for causing or allowing Stanley’s ‘horrible’ death following their prolonged stint of abuse at their previous address at Garland Court in Forton Road, Gosport.
The baby died of a fatal skull fracture and brain haemorrhage aged just 24 days on March 28 last year.
He also sustained 32 fractures to his ribs and nine fractures to his arms and legs during three separate occasions – many of which were brutal refractures, jurors heard during the harrowing five week trial.
Baby Stanley was rushed into Gosport’s Blake Maternity Centre in a critical condition – just 16 days after being born.
Midwives were horrified by the extent of the infant’s injuries, which had caused him to have a seizure, leaving him brain damaged.
Victoria Brown, a community midwife at the centre, led the initial emergency response before Stanley was taken to Queen Alexandra Hospital and then Southampton General Hospital’s intensive care unit where he died.
Mrs Brown, who has been a midwife for 12 years, said: 'He was incredibly floppy. He was white. He was white with a yellowish tone to him.
His mouth was drooped open. He had no response at all. I have never seen a baby so seriously ill as he was.'
Dr Peter Richards, a consultant paediatric neurosurgeon, who conducted a report into Stanley’s death, said the injuries were the result of significant trauma. ‘The major brain injuries and skull fractures we see come from falling down from a first floor window, falling down a whole flight of stairs or being in a buggy hit by a car,’ he said.
The stakes could not have been higher for both defendants – with it showing as the pair pulled out all the stops to exonerate themselves.
In an impassioned plea to convince jurors one final time of her innocence, Davis’ defence barrister Katie Thorne QC laid the blame squarely at the feet of Davies in her summing up – a man she said was ‘secretly and discreetly breaking the child’s bones’.
The barrister said: ‘How ought (Davis) be aware of serious harm when it was Samuel Davies who was the silent assassin? How can you blame her for being convinced by him?’
Ms Thorne added: ‘She didn’t know how serious Sam’s mental health problems were.
‘She didn’t know how much cocaine he was taking. She didn’t know the urges he was getting inside his head.’
Meanwhile Davies, who was not the biological father of Stanley, insisted his former partner was behind the horrific child torture as she struggled to cope with being a mum.
He gave evidence insisting he saw Davis ‘shaking Stanley above her head telling him to shut up’.
The court also heard Davis had posted a Facebook video of Stanley fitting where she was heard giggling.
But ultimately, both their attempts to convince jurors they were blameless were rejected.
Prosecutor James Newton-Price QC, in his closing speech, said: ‘There was multiple injuries caused that were non accidental culminating in the fatal blow that leads to the compelling conclusion that Stanley was unlawfully killed.
‘The fatal blow was the result of a blunt impact to his head. This was done by one of the two defendants. The other one should have been aware of the danger.
‘On three different occasions one or both of the defendants applied significant compressive force to his chest to break his rib bones and to then refracture them and other areas.
‘This was done by twisting or pulling with force on the wrists, knees, ankles and elbows which were fractured and refractured.’
He added: ‘It was a stormy relationship with two immature and volatile adults - just the environment where a baby is at risk of harm, which is exactly what happened.’
Davis, of Lee Road, Gosport, and Davies, of Mayfield Road, Southampton, will be sentenced on December 7.
Both defendants were remanded in custody.
Derek Benson, chairman of the Hampshire Safeguarding Children Board, confirmed after the trial that a review is being carried out of the handling of child's care by the authorities.
He said: ‘I can confirm that an independent review relating to this case has been commissioned and a report will be published in due course on the outcome, together with any recommendations for improvements in future practice, when this work has been completed.’
An NSPCC spokeswoman said: ‘The circumstances surrounding the death of baby Stanley are tragic and disturbing.
‘His short life was plagued with pain and suffering, caused by the very people who should have loved and protected him from harm.
‘Babies and young children are entirely dependent on those who care for them and we all have a duty to look out for their welfare.’