Life sentence for man who killed 11-week-old baby
- Credit: Cambs Police
Kane Mitchell, 31, has today (February 5) been sentenced to life in prison with a minimum tariff of 18 years, minus the time served on remand.
Mitchell was ordered to serve a further five years concurrent for allowing / causing serious harm to a child.
Teddie’s mother, Lucci Smith, 30, was found guilty of neglect and handed a two-year community order.
Both Mitchell and Smith have been barred from activities with children.
In sentencing, Judge Robin Knowles commended officers for their diligent and professional investigation.
Teddie suffered a catalogue of injuries, including a fractured skull and bleed to the brain.
Kane Mitchell, 31, of no fixed address but formerly of St Neots, inflicted multiple injuries on Teddie at his home in St Neots, which led to his death in hospital on November 11, 2019.
Teddie’s mother, Lucci Smith, 29, of Pattison Court, St Neots, was acquitted on charges of causing or allowing death and serious injury, but found guilty of neglect following a four-week trial which heard baby Teddie had suffered weeks of neglect and rough handling during his short life.
Cambridge Crown Court heard Mitchell and Smith had been in a relationship for about eight months and had lived together with baby Teddie.
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At 3pm, on November 1, 2019, the ambulance service was called to Pattison Court, St Neots, where Teddie was found to be unresponsive and in cardiac arrest.
Smith had left Teddie in the care of Mitchell while she did the morning school run. When she returned, she noticed he seemed lethargic and wouldn’t take his bottle.
She later contacted a GP after Teddie’s condition deteriorated. They advised her to call 999 but she waited about half an hour before calling them.
Teddie was rushed to the Special Care Baby Unit at Hinchingbrooke Hospital, Huntingdon, where doctors discovered he had a fractured skull and a significant bleed on the brain.
Officers and medical staff were concerned about how Teddie received his injuries and Mitchell and Smith were both arrested at the hospital. Teddie was later transferred to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge for a specialist neurology assessment and placed in intensive care on life support, where doctors concluded he would not recover.
Medical staff kept Teddie stable on a life support machine, however, after 11 days, a decision was made to withdraw the life support and Teddie passed away shortly after. A post mortem revealed he died as a result of his fractured skull and lack of oxygen to the brain.
During the trial, the jury were read statements from neighbours who said they had heard arguments coming from the address on a regular basis and that the household had been unsettled since Mitchell moved in.
During police interview, Mitchell said he believed he was Teddie’s biological father. However, DNA results following the death revealed he was not. He could not explain how Teddie came to suffer his fatal injuries.
During police interview, Smith claimed she and Mitchell were in a loving relationship and they rarely argued. She also couldn’t explain how Teddie came to have his fatal injuries.
The jury deliberated for two days following the four-week trial before reaching a verdict.
Mitchell and Smith will be sentenced on 5 February at Cambridge Crown Court.
Detective Inspector Lucy Thomson, from the Beds Cambs and Herts Major Crime Unit, said: “This is a tragic and terrible case in which an 11-week-old baby lost his life at the hands of a person who should have been there to protect him.
“Our investigation found that Teddie had suffered multiple injuries during his short life which neither Mitchell or Smith could account for.
“The verdict won’t bring Teddie back, but it does bring some justice for what he endured.”
For information and advice about child abuse, visit the force website: www.cambs.police.uk/childprotection.
Anyone who has concerns about child abuse should contact police on 101 (or report online at www.cambs.police.uk/report), children’s social care or the NSPCC. If a child is in immediate danger always call 999.