THE Gosport community were so enraged by the disturbing events that played out during the trial of Roxanne Davis and her former lover Samuel Davies that Davis was attacked in the street.
The despicable duo were thrown behind bars yesterday for 10 years each for their parts in the death of baby Stanley who suffered a life of pain at the hands of the unhinged couple during his short life. He died of a skull fracture brain haemorrhage on March 28 last year aged just 24 days.
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The sickening reality of what Davis, 30, and Davies, 24, were doing behind closed doors to Stanley left a community so angry it sparked a furious campaign against the mum, Winchester Crown Court was told yesterday during sentencing.
Angry people confronted Davis on the street and at her then Lee Road address, as well as launching an avalanche of vitriol on social media at her following her part in causing or allowing Stanley to die.
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Davis’ defence barrister Katie Thorne QC said in mitigation: ‘There were a huge amount of threats aimed at her on social media. There were physical altercations in the street and at her family home. In the end she was forced to move away.
‘There was a campaign against her and it was very difficult to deal with.’
Despite the overwhelming evidence, Ms Thorne still sought to downplay Davis’ involvement in the chilling death of Stanley – a reality that meant, in the barrister’s own words prior to the verdict, Davis joined the ‘dark world of mothers who kill their babies’.
Ms Thorne said: ‘It has always been our case that she did not cause the injuries.’
However, she did accept some failings. ‘Ms Davis does accept her strong feelings of guilt in not taking steps to protect Stanley,’ she said.
But even after she was found guilty, the mum, who was described by judge Jane Miller QC as ‘manipulating’ and the ‘dominant’ figure in her relationship with Davies, was still trying to absolve herself of blame – highlighted by her repeated shouts of ‘murderer’ at Davies after both verdict and sentence.
Davies’ barrister Sally Howes QC, prior to the 10-year jail terms being handed down, raised concerns after it had emerged that Davis had sent a note to the court. In the message, Davis claimed she knew nothing about any of Stanley’s injuries until the bruise appeared behind his ear.
‘There is a suggestion that an attempt to push a disproportionate amount of blame onto Samuel Davies will be made,’ Ms Howes said.
Ms Thorne did concede Davis does not ‘always react in a dignified way’ but said she had ‘genuine remorse’ and visited Stanley’s grave every day. ‘She does not edit what she says and feel the need to change her behaviour just because of how other people see her,’ the barrister said.
The court heard how ‘unfortunate things happened in her past’ resulting in Davis self harming and suffering depression.
Meanwhile, Ms Howes’ mitigation acknowledged Davies guilt and remorse for his part in the death of Stanley. The barrister painted a picture of a troubled upbringing which led to him suffering emotionally unstable borderline personality disorder – as well as also having attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Ms Howes QC admitted there was ‘undeniable brutality’ that led to Stanley’s death before adding: ‘The fact Mr Davies had no outpouring of emotion does not mean he does not feel remorse and he wants to express his sadness and feelings of guilt.’
In the end, judge Miller admitted it was impossible to know who dealt the fatal blow and sentenced them equally.
Davis – who the judge said wept ‘self serving crocodile tears’ during the trial – had ample opportunity to tell police that Davies, of St Peters Road, Basingstoke, was the one who killed Stanley, if that had been the case. But her attempts to blame Davies only came to the fore as she desperately clung on for her freedom as the trial swung into action.
Detective Chief Inspector Fiona Bitters, speaking after the sentence, said the police were given no reason to believe Davis was innocent.
‘We we’re unable to prove who was responsible and couldn’t charge either with murder and so ended up having to charge them with causing or allowing Stanley’s death,’ she said.
‘Maybe that would have been different if Roxanne’s response had been different at the beginning, if indeed she is telling the truth (that she was not responsible).
‘She had the opportunity to tell us but she didn’t.’