December 2018

Couple sentenced for causing or allowing the death of a three-week-old baby

A couple have been jailed for causing or allowing the death of a three-week-old baby.

Stanley Davis died in hospital in March 2017 from a broken skull, having previously sustained 41 fractures.

His mother Roxanne Davis, 30, and her then partner Sam Davies, 24, both from Gosport, Hampshire, were previously found guilty following a trial at Winchester Crown Court.

Davis and Davies have each been given 10-year prison sentences.

Sentencing the pair, Judge Jane Miller QC told the court they were “equally culpable” for the “brutal” death.

She said the baby had suffered “excruciatingly painful” injuries, possibly by being swung and thrown, on at least three separate occasions.

At one stage, he was squeezed so hard his ribs would have touched the spine, she added.

She described Davis as the “dominant partner” and said she treated the baby as a “fashion accessory”.

However, she added that Davies was “never controlled” by his former partner.

The newborn died at the age of just 24 days in hospital on March 28 2017 after suffering a fractured skull and a brain haemorrhage.

He had also been admitted to Portsmouth’s Queen Alexandra Hospital for 32 rib fractures and nine more to his arms and legs on three other separate occasions.

Prosecutors said one of the pair killed Stanley and the other “allowed it to happen”, but they could not say who played which role.

Both tested positive for cocaine and cannabis after their arrests on 21 March, when the baby was taken from the flat in Garland Court. Stanley died in hospital seven days later.

Judge Miller said the pair’s frequent use of cocaine and cannabis during parenthood was “irresponsible in the extreme”.

“You both had quick and hot tempers and were violent towards each other,” she said.

“You colluded to conceal Stanley’s injuries… and deceived doctors and midwives.

“I am unable to be sure which one of you systematically injured Stanley.”

She added: “Both of you could and should have been capable of standing up to each other.”

Police said Stanley’s injuries had been “truly shocking”.

He sustained 32 fractures to his ribs, nine fractures to the bones in his arms and legs, and an 8cm (3in) skull fracture.

The trial heard the couple had frequent arguments, which sometimes turned violent, in the days following Stanley’s birth.

Police were called to their flat on 11 March after a neighbour heard screaming and “sounds as if someone was falling down the stairs”.

Davies, of Mayfield Road, Southampton, was not the baby’s father, but lived with Davis, of Lee Road, Gosport, at the time.

Davis cried after the verdict was delivered last month and shouted “no… he killed my baby… he murdered my little baby” as she was led from the dock.

An independent review of how professionals worked together to safeguard Stanley has been commissioned by Hampshire Safeguarding Children Board.

Davies told his and his ex-partner’s trial that Stanley was looked after by him, his mother and her family, and added: ‘That baby from day two was passed around like a parcel.’

Prosecutors added that on March 15, Davies had taken a photo of a newspaper article about a mother who had taken her dead baby on to a bus to avoid detection over the child’s death from a head injury.

The court also heard how she had posted a video on Facebook on March 20 – the day before Stanley was taken to hospital – of him having a fit, along with the comment: ‘My baby is 16 days should he be doing this already.’

Stanley died a week later.

https://theukdatabase.com/…/roxanne-davis-samuel-davies-go…/

— A timeline of the Stanley Davis case —

  • 4 March 2017: Stanley Davis was born

  • 11 March 2017: police were called to an argument at the flat of Roxanne Davis and Samuel Davies

  • 15 March 2017: Davies had taken a photo of an article in The Sun newspaper about a mother who had taken her dead baby on to a bus to avoid detection over the child’s death from a head injury

  • 16 March 2017: Davies said a large bruise was found behind Stanley’s right ear

  • 20 March 2017: Davies had phoned a doctor, saying: ‘I have serious mental health problems and I have been using a lot of cocaine to deal with it.’

  • 20 March 2017: Davis posts a video on Facebook on March 20 – the day before Stanley was taken to hospital – of him having a fit, along with the comment: ‘My baby is 16 days should he be doing this already.

  • 21 March 2017: both Roxanne Davis and Samuel Davies tested positive for drugs

  • 28 March 2017: Stanley dies of a skull fracture and brain haemorrhage

  • 23 October 2018: trial of Roxanne Davis and Samuel Davies begins at Winchester Crown Court

  • 28 November 2018: Roxanne Davis and Samuel Davies are convicted of causing or allowing the death of her baby Stanley at Winchester Crown Court

  • 7 December 2018: Roxanne Davis and Samuel Davies are jailed for ten years at Winchester Crown Court

November 2018

Mother screams ‘murderer’ at ex-partner as pair found guilty over baby son’s death

A woman convicted over her baby’s death from a “horrific” head injury screamed at her ex-boyfriend in court, calling him a “murderer” as they were both found guilty.

This is the chilling moment police confront a new mother and her boyfriend just days before her baby died.

Roxanne Davis, 30, and Samuel Davies, 24, were convicted of causing or allowing the death of her baby Stanley at Winchester Crown Court today.

The newborn died at the age of just 24 days in hospital on March 28 2017 after suffering a fractured skull and a brain haemorrhage.

He had also been admitted to Portsmouth’s Queen Alexandra Hospital for 32 rib fractures and nine more to his arms and legs on three other occasions.  

Police officers were called to the couple’s flat just 17 days before Stanley died – when he was only one-week old – after neighbours reported them shouting. 

But Davies, who was not the baby’s father, claimed he had been arguing with a friend over some borrowed money.

Davis told officers the same thing, explaining he had mental health problems, was not allowed to work and ‘just kicked off like that’.  

She also said he had been smoking cannabis and drinking alcohol, which both defendants tested positive for after Stanley died.  

Officers demanded to see inside the flat when they visited the pair on March 11 but both defendants insisted there had just been an argument with one of Davies’s friends over some borrowed money.

Davies answered the door and Davis was then seen holding a tiny baby Stanley in her arms. 

She told the police officer, who was recording the exchange on his body camera, that her boyfriend suffers with mental health problems.

Davies meanwhile storms out of the flat and says ‘I don’t want police at my door’ and complains they ‘don’t have a warrant’.  

She says: ‘He’s normal but he just kicks off like that. It gets to him not being allowed to work.’

The officer asks her: ‘We can see that he’s been taking cannabis or something like that this evening?’

Davis replies: ‘He does smoke cannabis, yeah. He’s been drinking, He’s been out with his mates.’

She tells them: ‘I’ve got a baby now as well,’ to which the officer replies: ‘I know, congratulations. Because you were heavily pregnant last time I met you,’ – confirming he had visited the couple before.   

As the verdicts were read out in court today, Davis, of Gosport, shouted at her former partner, of Southampton, as she burst into tears.   

After the pair were told they would be remanded in custody until sentencing next month, Davis shouted: ‘You have got it wrong, Sam just tell them you done it.’ She added: ‘Thanks a lot Sam you murderer.’

Their trial heard the first sign that the infant had suffered any harm was when a health visitor found a bruise behind his right ear.

Davies told his and his ex-partner’s trial that Stanley was looked after by him, his mother and her family, and added: ‘That baby from day two was passed around like a parcel.’ 

Prosecutors added that on March 15, Davies had taken a photo of a newspaper article about a mother who had taken her dead baby on to a bus to avoid detection over the child’s death from a head injury.

The court also heard how she had posted a video on Facebook on March 20 – the day before Stanley was taken to hospital – of him having a fit, along with the comment: ‘My baby is 16 days should he be doing this already.’ The boy died a week later.

Giving evidence, Davis told the court that when her son was born she was ‘over the moon’, and added: ‘I had my whole world in my hands.’

After Stanley’s death a crowdfunding page was set up to raise money for his funeral, which accumulated £2,300 in total. 

His mother had written on the crowdfunding page that her son had been her ‘miracle baby’ after being told she would not be able to have children when she was younger.

Carl Anderson, of the CPS, said: ‘During post-natal appointments and check-ups, Davis and Davies gave medical staff the impression there were no problems with Stanley and only reported difficulties in getting him to take his milk.

‘The reality was quite different. Both knew Stanley had already suffered serious injuries but neither said anything, leaving Stanley without the medical attention he desperately needed.

‘Both the defendants denied killing Stanley but it was clear from all the evidence that one of them had caused the horrific head injury that killed him.

‘The other was, or should have been aware, that there was a risk of serious harm to Stanley because of the multiple fractures he had already suffered but instead of doing something to prevent anything further happening to him, they did nothing.

‘Our thoughts are with the members of Stanley’s extended family who have lost a child in such harrowing circumstances.’

Derek Benson, chairman of the Hampshire Safeguarding Children Board, confirmed after the trial that a review is being carried out of the handling of child’s care by the authorities.

He said: ‘I can confirm that an independent review relating to this case has been commissioned and a report will be published in due course on the outcome, together with any recommendations for improvements in future practice, when this work has been completed.’       

Addressing jurors during the trial prosecutor James Newton-Price QC said: ‘In this case, the prosecution cannot say which defendant caused the fatal injury to the head or whether one or both of them caused the bone fractures on the earlier occasions.

‘In this case, it’s necessary to prove that one of them caused the fatal injury and the other allowed it to happen as they were aware, or ought to have been aware, of the risk and they failed to protect Stanley from this.’ 

He said that text messages between the pair suggested they had little patience with one another. 

In one message, Davis wrote: ‘I am not a stay-at-home mum,’ and in another ‘Everyone is going to know what a woman-beater and drug-user you are.’

Mr Newton-Price said there were ‘quite common’ references to cannabis and cocaine use in the text exchanges and on March 20 Davies had phoned a doctor, saying: ‘I have serious mental health problems and I have been using a lot of cocaine to deal with it.’

He added: ‘It’s within hours of that call that Stanley starts to show symptoms that are consistent with a non-accidental brain injury arising from a skull fracture.’ 

He said the following day a large bruise was found behind Stanley’s right ear and added: ‘The prosecution ask rhetorically: what is Sam’s interest in that court case?’

A timeline of the Stanley Davis case 

Both Roxanne Davis and Samuel Davies have been remanded in custody and await sentencing on December 7. 

4 March 2017: Stanley Davis was born

11 March 2017: police were called to an argument at the flat of Roxanne Davis and Samuel Davies

15 March 2017: Davies had taken a photo of an article in The Sun newspaper about a mother who had taken her dead baby on to a bus to avoid detection over the child’s death from a head injury

16 March 2017: Davies said a large bruise was found behind Stanley’s right ear

20 March 2017: Davies had phoned a doctor, saying: ‘I have serious mental health problems and I have been using a lot of cocaine to deal with it.’

20 March 2017: Davis posts a video on Facebook on March 20 – the day before Stanley was taken to hospital – of him having a fit, along with the comment: ‘My baby is 16 days should he be doing this already.

21 March 2017: both Roxanne Davis and Samuel Davies tested positive for drugs

28 March 2017: Stanley dies of a skull fracture and brain haemorrhage 

23 October 2018: trial of Roxanne Davis and Samuel Davies begins at Winchester Crown Court 

28 November 2018: Roxanne Davis and Samuel Davies are convicted of causing or allowing the death of her baby Stanley at Winchester Crown Court