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Friday, 18 April 2014

Walney baby shaker jailed for lying at a trial

A MAN who caused horrific injuries to a baby who was just a few weeks old, has been jailed for lying at his trial.

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CHRISTOPHER NEWTON

Christopher Newton created a false stream of text messages in a bid to shift blame for the incident onto someone else.

But his efforts were uncovered at his original trial, and following a separate investigation, he was yesterday imprisoned for 10 months.

Defence barrister, Mr Michael Brady, told the court: “He sought to exonerate himself and point the blame at another. This was a particularly crass and ham fisted attempt.”

Preston Crown Court was told Newton, 25, of Long Bank, Walney, was convicted at a trial in November 2010, of wounding a child who was just weeks old. He was jailed for two years.

The baby he assaulted suffered multiple fractures and a neurological injury, consistent with violent shaking.

Mr Ahmed Nadim, prosecuting in the latest case, said that in his evidence to the jury in 2010, Newton relied on an exhibit of purported text messages to claim another person was responsible for the injuries rather than him.

But the so-called text messages were contrived and the result of a Facebook conversation that was downloaded.

When sentence was passed following the trial, the judge, Mr Justice MacDuff, said Newton was guilty of a “wicked perjury”, but he had not taken those matters into account when determining sentence.

Mr Nadim told the court “After the trial the matters were further investigated. There were two telephone numbers the defendant claimed the text messages related to. One of the numbers had not become active until subsequent to the period relied upon in the trial.

“Obviously the text messages he relied upon were contrived. In fact, the defendant had engaged another in what appears a Facebook conversation, downloaded the conversation and then interfered with the record to make it look there had been text messages exchanged between him and another”.

Defence barrister Mr Michael Brady said Newton has been recalled to prison on licence. He accepted that an immediate prison sentence would follow.

“There was never any realistic prospect of anybody else being arrested as a consequence of that perjury, let alone prosecuted.

“He has pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity”.

Judge Pamela Badley told Newton in passing sentence “What you did was to try, not only to exonerate yourself, but also to cause blame to fall on someone else, someone who was completely innocent.

“It is fortunate the jury saw through what you were doing.”

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