Father who murdered his month-old son has sentenced increased

Father who murdered his month-old son has sentenced increased

A MAN who murdered his 39-day-old son has had his jail term increased after his original sentence was deemed unduly lenient.

In September, James Dean Clark, 31, of Warmley, South Gloucestershire, was sentenced to life with a minimum of 15 years after being found guilty of the murder of his son Sean.

This week, the Court of Appeal increased his minimum term to 18 years.

The Solicitor General, Alex Chalk QC MP, said it was only right the sentenced was increased.

Fractures and head injuries

On the morning of January 14, 2018, the baby's mother found him unresponsive in his cot.

A post-mortem examination concluded that Sean had sustained a total of 74 fractures to his ribs, which had been inflicted on at least three separate occasions.

He had also sustained two serious head injuries.

The injuries were consistent with the baby having been shaken violently shortly before his death.

While some of the injuries were recent, there was evidence others were not and had begun to heal.

'Heinous crime'

"This was a deeply upsetting and disturbing case, involving an extremely vulnerable victim," said Mr Chalk, who referred Clark's sentence to the Court of Appeal under the Unduly Lenient Sentence scheme.

"Clarke grossly abused his position of trust and his actions stole the life of an innocent child he should have been protecting.

"It is only right the sentence has been increased to reflect the severity of the crime."

Also speaking after Friday's hearing, DS James Riccio, the Senior Investigating Officer, said the new sentence better reflected Clark's crime.

"This increase in sentence better reflects the gravity of the heinous crime this man committed against his own 39-day-old son," he said.

"It's hard to put into words how devastating the loss of a child is, especially when it's as a result of such a cold and callous act.

"Our thoughts are very much with all those who loved Sean and I hope they feel a greater sense of justice now the sentence against his murderer has been increased."