Sean Clark death: Father of baby who died after suffering 71 rib fractures found guilty of his murder

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The father of a newborn baby boy who died after suffering 71 rib fractures while being shaken has been found guilty of his "repulsive and hideous" murder.

James Dean Clark, 31, from Warmley, Gloucestershire, had denied being responsible for Sean Clark's death and was described as showing a lack of remorse during his trial.

Sean was just 39 days old when he was found unresponsive in his cot at his father's home near Bristol on the morning of 14 January in 2018.

Post-mortem examinations revealed the baby had been assaulted on at least three occasions during his short life, suffering rib fractures and head injuries, a jury at Bristol Crown Court heard.

The most recent injuries were from shortly before Sean's death, and the earliest were from up to two weeks previously.

Sean's mother Helen Jeremy, 27, of Kingswood, Gloucestershire, was acquitted of a charge of causing or allowing her son's death.

Jeremy lived with Sean at her parents' home in Kingswood, on the outskirts of Bristol, while Clark lived with his mother in Warmley.

At weekends they would stay at each other's homes with Sean.

During the trial, jurors heard that Jeremy and Sean had gone to Clark's home on 11 January to stay for the weekend.

Hours after they arrived, Jeremy used her phone to search on Google about babies coughing up blood.

She also sent her mother text messages indicating concerns for Sean's welfare, saying he was crying a lot, particularly when he was picked up and during feeding.

On Sunday morning, Jeremy woke up to find Sean unresponsive in his cot and the emergency services were called.

Clark will be sentenced for the murder of his son on 24 September.

Superintendent James Riccio of Avon and Somerset Police said shortly after Clark was convicted: "James Clark is responsible for the most repulsive and hideous of crimes - the murder of a defenceless child.

"All of my team have been truly shocked at the lack of remorse shown by him throughout this investigation and subsequent trial which has taken more than three and a half years to conclude.

"The evidence showed quite clearly Sean was subjected to multiple assaults which had been committed on a number of separate occasions and we fought hard to secure the charges and compile the evidence to put in front of a court.

"As his father, he should have protected him not inflict pain and suffering on him."

Anne Hampshire, of the Crown Prosecution Service, said: "This was a tragic case where a very young child was the victim of several assaults, causing serious and ultimately fatal injuries.

"Only Clark knows exactly how Sean suffered those injuries and he maintained that he was not the cause.

"This case relied on evidence from some of the top medical experts in the country and was distressing case to investigate and for the jury to hear.

"The verdict demonstrates that the jury were satisfied that it was Clark who inflicted these injuries and they found him guilty of murder."

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