March 2013

Father killed baby in anger at football on TV

Image result for Mark Lackenby murder

A father who shook and killed his five-week-old baby after losing his temper as he watched football on television has been jailed for 10 years.

Mark Lackenby had bet that Arsenal would beat Barcelona in their Champions League clash in February 2011.

But he became so angry when Barcelona took the lead that he lashed out at his daughter Ruby, leaving her with catastrophic injuries 

Lackenby shook his baby daughter Ruby so violently as he watched the televised match she suffered brain damage and bleeding on the brain.

Further tests after death also showed five small bruises to the back of the skull and one bruise on top which were only visible internally.

Pathologists dated the bleeding on the brain to having been caused 24 hours before death.

She died the next day when her life support had to be switched off.

The 32-year-old was convicted of manslaughter at Sheffield Crown Court.

He was cleared of murdering his daughter at their home in Goldthorpe, South Yorkshire but was found guilty of manslaughter and grievous bodily harm.

Lackenby, now of Bolton-upon-Dearne, South Yorkshire, also broke his child’s ribs a week or so before he inflicted the fatal injuries.

He was in tears as the judge described what had happened when he was left alone with his daughter as he watched the football match while her mother was upstairs having a bath.

He had denied hurting Ruby.

Sentencing Lackenby, judge Mr Justice Haddon-Cave told him: “It’s frankly despicable and defies belief that anyone could do such a thing to their own baby in such circumstances.”

The court heard Lackenby, of High Street, Goldthorpe, Barnsley, bet £2.50 at odds of 70-1 on Robin van Persie to score the first goal, and Arsenal to win the match 2-1 on February 16, 2011.

He stood to win £200 but when Villa scored Ruby, who was on the sofa next to him, cried and Lackenby lost his temper.

The judge told him: “At 8.11pm that evening David Villa, a Barcelona player scored the first goal.

“At around that time Ruby was heard to cry. It is clear that at that moment you shook her violently causing catastrophic brain and nerve injuries which led her to collapse very quickly.”

The court heard neither paramedics nor doctors could revive the infant when she was rushed to hospital.

She suffered brain damage and bleeding around the brain and medics also found she had three broken ribs caused about a week earlier.

Bryan Cox, QC, prosecuting, said Lackenby had been alone with the baby while her mother, his partner Gemma Coates, took a bath.

The judge said that there was evidence he had harmed baby Ruby on other occasions.

Mr Justice Haddon-Cave said: “It was not a momentary loss of control or isolated but something which must be placed in its context of a growing pattern. These were incidents of temper.”