September 2017

Father murdered his baby because he could not stand him crying

A father who murdered his baby because he could not stand him crying has been jailed.

Eight-month-old Leyton Dawick from Rochdale suffered injuries normally associated with high-speed car crashes, Manchester Crown Court heard.

Craig Dawick, 25, kicked, punched and stamped on his son, inflicting “horrific and terrible” injuries.

He was jailed for life with a minimum of 21 years by Judge Sir John Royce who said the murder “defies belief.”

Dawick, a drug user, denied murder and claimed he accidentally pulled a cover from underneath Leyton sending the child flying from the sofa on to the hard floor.

Leyton, who was suffering with teething and heartburn, and his twin brother, were left in the house with Dawick, of Durham Street, Rochdale, on 6 September last year by their mother, Chantelle Flynn.

Half an hour later Dawick called her phone and when she arrived back at the house, Leyton was struggling to breathe and losing colour so she called an ambulance.

Leyton suffered injuries described by an expert as among the worst he had seen in more than 300 child injury cases, the court was told.

They included stamp injuries to his groin, injuries associated with vigorous shaking and severe internal injuries caused by punches.

Scans showed multiple and unsurvivable injuries to his brain and medical life support was withdrawn two days later in hospital.

Flynn, 25, was “besotted” with Dawick, describing him as a “brilliant father”, the court heard. But she knew he was violent.

She covered for him by lying to paramedics and police about where he was when Leyton was injured.

Flynn was convicted of causing or allowing the death of her baby and perverting the course of justice.

She was bailed to be sentenced at a later date.

Stephen Meadowcroft QC, defending Dawick, said Leyton’s death was not a result of prolonged torture but a “complete loss of control”.

Judge Royce told the defendant: “It is difficult to comprehend how any father could kick or stamp on his child’s pubic area with such force to cause these gross injuries.

“It defies belief. Some might describe it as sadistic.”