September 2016

Man jailed for shaking baby son loses Court of Appeal bid to clear his name

A FATHER who served a jail term almost two decades ago for seriously injuring his baby son yesterday failed in a Court of Appeal bid to clear his name.

Allen Young, 38, of Wishaw, North Lanarkshire, pleaded guilty in 1999 to seriously hurting the five-week-old by shaking him to stop him from crying.

Young, who lived at the time in Belsize Park, north west London, served a year-long jail term for the grievous bodily harm assault on his son Michael.

However he was back before a court again in 2014 after the death of Michael, 12 years after he was injured.

Young was tried for manslaughter and found not guilty by a jury at Wood Green Crown Court.

Despite admitting he shook Michael, Young’s defence at the manslaughter trial was that other medical issues may have caused the brain damage which killed him.

His acquittal led to an appeal earlier this summer against his original GBH conviction, which he said was “inconsistent” with the not guilty verdict on the manslaughter charge.

Through his lawyers, Young claimed before Court of Appeal judges in London that the jury’s verdict showed he was “wrong” to have pleaded guilty in the first place. But after taking three months to consider the case, top judges returned to court to dismiss Young’s conviction appeal.

Sir Brian Leveson said Young had admitted shaking Michael, who was found with numerous fractures and pleaded guilty on the basis of legal advice at the time.

“The medical evidence was to the effect that the fractures were in all probability caused during the shaking incident,” he said.

“Although it is recognised that Allen Young could not know what injuries he had caused, the contemporaneous fractures would have been at a time when he was responsible for Michael’s welfare.

“With the benefit of advice from leading counsel, the accuracy and propriety of which is not challenged, he entered a plea of guilty to causing serious bodily harm to his five-week old son.”

He continued: “In the light of the evidence available for the first trial, there is no basis for contending that a defence to a charge of inflicting grievous bodily harm would quite probably have succeeded.

“There is thus no basis for treating the plea of guilty as a nullity or the conviction as unsafe.”