November 2004

Man gets life for battering baby

A Plymouth man has been jailed for life after battering a six-month-old baby to death.

Jeffrey Newton, 32, murdered his girlfriend’s son Jack Graham in his bedroom in October last year after the baby woke up early in the morning.

The city’s Crown Court heard he struck the baby so hard he left the imprint of a ring on the baby’s head.

Mr Newton had been staying the night at Gemma Graham’s home in Efford, Plymouth when the incident happened.

The jury was told Newton, of Winchester Gardens, Plymouth, was left alone with baby Jack, telling Ms Graham that Jack would not sleep while she was there.

Ms Graham had heard the defendant say “bloody shut up” to the child over the baby monitor. But she was not concerned as Mr Newton often spoke to the child in that way.

The court heard that Newton banged Jack’s head against a piece of furniture or wall, probably the bunk bed.

He then struck the baby with his hand and a mark was left on the child’s head matching the design on a distinctive Krugerrand ring Newton was wearing.

In the morning the baby was found to have died, and the mother assumed the cause was cot death.