Parents of newborn baby found dead at home in Kent caged after being found guilty of causing or allowing serious injury

Bailey Smyth-Osborne died from pneumonia and sepsis after he suffered blunt impact injuries including a fracture to his leg and bruising to his head and genitals.

A post mortem found the 19-day-old's head injuries were consistent with “more than one blunt impact” and his leg break was consistent with a twisting or yanking motion.

Marina Smythe, 21, and Michael Osborne, 22, had both denied causing or allowing physical harm to a child at their Tonbridge home between November 16 and December 10, 2016.

But jurors at Maidstone Crown Court today found them guilty and the pair were both sentenced to eight years each.

The court heard how the injuries Bailey suffered at home in Tonbridge were not responsible for his death.

Prosecutor Jennifer Knight said: "It is the Crown’s case that one of these two defendants is responsible for Bailey’s injuries and that the other, although not the actual perpetrator of those injuries, allowed them to occur by failing to take reasonable steps to protect Bailey from a risk of injury which should have been foreseen.”

On December 5, 2016, neighbours had heard high pitched crying coming from the home that lasted for around 25 minutes.

Smyth claimed she woke up at around 10am and found Bailey stiff, cold and unconscious in his Moses basket.

An ambulance was called but paramedics found the tot was already dead and rigor mortis had already set in.

Consultant paediatrician Dr Uday Kumar examined Bailey and saw a number of injuries – a 5cm line of bruising on the right side of the head, 3cm above the ear and bruising about 1cm in diameter near the base of the penis.

The cause of death was given as bronchial pneumonia and sepsis.

A CT scan also showed the fracture to the left tibia, which medics is the type of fracture caused by “forcible traction – pulling with a twisting motion”.

The injury was said to have been caused between 24 to 72 hours prior to death, but most likely 24 to 48 hours before.

Both Marina Smyth and Michael Osborne accepted it could only have been them who caused these injuries and yet both denied inflicting them and blamed the other

During evidence, Smyth said Osborne confessed he believed he may have caused the fracture by lifting the baby's legs up too high while changing him.

She said: "I questioned him what it was. He then said he thought he caused the fracture to baby's leg. He went on to explain when it would have been – December 3."

Asked if he explained what he might have been doing at the time, she said: "Yes, changing him. It would have been changing him when doing the night feed.

"He said how it happened. He said he was changing the baby's nappy and lifted both legs up too high and as he went to place the nappy underneath he also twists his ankle.

"He kept repeating saying it was an accident. He said the same night he was having problems settling Bailey and also pinched his willy."

Speaking after the pair were sentenced, Kent Police DC Alex Hayter said: "Although the baby tragically died from natural causes it was subsequently discovered that he had suffered a number of serious, non-accidental injuries in the days prior to his death.

"Both Marina Smyth and Michael Osborne accepted it could only have been them who caused these injuries and yet both denied inflicting them and blamed the other.

"They denied any knowledge of how the injuries were caused or that they were aware the child was in danger of harm.

"Of course both parents would have suffered huge distress as a result of the death. But it is also clear that neither have given a true account of their child's last few days."

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