THE family of a grieving mother whose baby son was killed by his own father today welcomed the jail sentence handed to the tot’s killer.
They have spoken out against the horrific actions of former Sheffield man Lance Corporal Lee Khair, who is starting a prison sentence for the manslaughter of his two-year-old son Ryan Franklin-Khair.
Ryan had a brain injury and bruises all over his body while under the care of Khair, 22, formerly of Thornsett Road, Sharrow, at his girlfriend Catherine Franklin’s house in Blandford Forum, Dorset in May last year.
The youngster was taken to Southampton General Hospital but never regained consciousness and died days later on May 29.
Khair, who was brought up in his grandparents’ 350,000 home in the city, told paramedics and hospital staff his son had fallen down a flight of stairs, a trial at Winchester Crown Court heard.
But Khair, who was stationed at Worthy Down Barracks, Winchester was sentenced to seven years for the manslaughter of his child last week after he was found guilty in a trial held in October.
Speaking for the first time since the decision, Ms Franklin’s sister Tracy condemned Khair for not owning up to his crime or explaining what happened.
“He said he never did anything to that boy even though he was the only one in the house with him at the time,” she said. “We are glad justice has been done and want to get on with our lives.”
The court had heard Ryan’s injuries were not consistent with a fall and were more likely to have been caused by being gripped, shaken and thrown on a densely hard surface.
Khair has never admitted his responsibility for causing the injuries or explained exactly how they occurred, the court heard.
Sentencing Khair, judge Mr Justice David Steel said: “Despite the verdict of the jury following a detailed trial you are still unable to acknowledge any responsibility for Ryan’s death.
“The truth is that only you know what happened that fatal night and I must proceed on the basis that you have chosen to remain silent.
“Anything I say cannot bring any comfort to Ryan’s mother.”
John Aspinall QC, defending, told the court Khair had an exemplary record in the Army but because of this conviction his career would be finished.
The trial was told Ryan had been born after a one-night stand between Khair and Ms Franklin.