Sick father jailed for 8 years after confessing to shaking his 2-month-old daughter to death after he "lost his temper"
James Ring has been jailed for eight years after he shook his two-month-old daughter with 'severe and excessive' force leading to her death.
A father has been jailed for eight years after he shook his two-month-old daughter with 'severe and excessive' force leading to her death.
21-year-old James Ring lost his temper in frustration and manhandled his baby Aria causing her a fatal brain injury, reported BBC News.
Ring finally admitted to manslaughter after repeatedly maintaining that he did not kill the toddler while claiming that she had gone limp for no reason.
The father has been accused of striking his baby daughter in the back of her head with his hand as she lay on a changing mat just two weeks before her death, the court heard.
When Aria's mother caught him in the act, he told her that he was simply "winding" the two-month-old.
Ultimately, Ring later admitted that he hit the baby out of frustration caused by her constant crying.
However, the young father claimed that his daughter had gone limp as he cradled her while trying to feed her milk from a bottle when in reality he had shaken her with such force that she lost her life. The incident occurred on January 7 last year.
Ring denied in multiple interrogations with law enforcement that he had either hit, shaken or dropped his baby, as heard by the Maidstone Crown Court in Kent.
He kept up his narrative all along until just days before his trial was due to begin, despite all medical evidence proving otherwise.
That being said, Ring finally confessed that he shook his daughter in the brief 17-minute period they were alone together, having previously denied charges of manslaughter and murder.
The prosecution accepted the 21-year-old's plea of guilty to manslaughter.
Ring was allegedly shaking Aria with such force that she started bleeding in her brain within seconds, the court heard.
Doctors told Aria's family that she was unlikely to survive due to the severe and irreversible nature of the injury. Thus, her life support was switched off on January 9, just two days after the incident.
The father had already been interviewed thrice in before being charged with his daughter's murder in November, according to Prosecutor Philippa McAtasney QC.
While he had every opportunity to confess the truth when the interrogation asked him about the shaken baby syndrome, but Ring chose not to disclose anything.
"He said she seemed absolutely fine and then went limp. He was in a panic because he didn't know what had happened and maintained that he had not hit, dropped or done anything to harm his baby daughter. He said he had not lost his temper," said Miss McAtasney.
"The injury was consistent with shaking and the force used was likely to have been excessive and severe. It would have caused her to go limp immediately or seconds after the force was applied."
"James Ring was not being truthful when he said his daughter was fine and then suddenly went limp for no reason."
"The truth is that this defendant has known since he did it on January 7, 2017, that he caused the injury and death of his tiny, defenseless baby daughter by shaking her."
"He has kept that truth to himself until last week when he entered his plea of guilty to manslaughter."
McAtasney also added that doctors found clinical evidence of an old trauma injury that Aria had sustained when her father struck her in the head. However, the injury back then was not fatal.
In November 2016, Aria was born weighing just 4lbs 9oz and premature.
The toddler had to spend weeks in the hospital but doctors asserted later that after being allowed to go home, she was developing well.
The family described Ring as lazy, immature, prone to telling lies, and said that he was "always on his Xbox."
Aria's mother used to constantly argue with Ring about his obsession with pornography. The duo cannot be completely identified for legal reasons.
Ring was said to be emotionless while doctors at the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford, Kent, and London's Evelina Hospital fought hard to save the toddler's life, while his partner was markedly hysterical about her daughter's predicament.
Judge Philip Statman ruled that the father had ignored 'the cardinal rule' of not shaking a baby despite constant support from family members and help from health agencies.
"On January 7, 2017, you were left alone with baby Aria. At a time when you were feeding her, you shook her and shook her with catastrophic consequences.
"You knew when you did so just how vulnerable baby Aria was at that age should she be shaken...You knew exactly how a baby should be handled and supported."
Judge Statman told Ring at the court that he was nowhere close to the end of his tether even if he might have been tired and distressed.
On the other hand, he praised the mother's courage and ability to care for her baby as she sobbed throughout the hearing.
"The effect of Aria's death is utterly impossible to quantify. It is against the natural order for a baby to leave before a mother in this way," he added.
"It goes without saying that no sentence by this court can bring baby Aria back. No mathematical exercise could come anywhere near the pain and distress that a case of this nature causes."
Aria's family was in tears as they exited the courtroom, and the impact of her death on them was crystal clear in numerous victim statements that followed.
The mother described how angry, hurt, and betrayed she felt after she came to know of Ring's actions and what they had done.
"Losing Aria has affected every aspect of my life... Now she is gone I feel a part of me is missing," she said.
"I will never get to hear her first words, see her crawl for the first time or witness her finding her feet and teaching her to walk.
"I cannot watch my child grow up or reach basic milestones because she had her life stolen from her. My life without Aria? There isn't one."
Judge Statman advised young parents that sleeplessness and crying could affect one's their temperament. As he passed the sentence, he said that looking after a baby is a "daunting responsibility" that should not be taken lightly.
"Parenting isn't easy. But on the other hand, you had the good fortune of supportive extended family, you had a family nurse and you were made particularly aware by her of the cardinal rule when a baby is being supported by you in your arms. Never shake a baby," he told Ring.
"Having now accepted responsibility you have reached a stage where you are no longer in denial and you will live for the rest of your life in the knowledge of that which you did to baby Aria."
Throughout the proceedings, Ring allegedly sat in the dock, shaking.
The toddler's feeding issue, which was diagnosed as acid reflux, was a recurring issue, according to defense attorney Oliver Saxby QC.
Ring reportedly told Saxby: "I don't know what it was. Just the whole stress and frustration and being exhausted and I shook her.
"I haven't told anyone before this because I couldn't cope with what I had done to my daughter."
According to Saxby, Ring had acted out of character as he struggled to cope with being a father. He told the court that Ring was not prone to violence as a person.
"He is a young man who did something terrible, something appalling... He stands in the dock utterly broken by what he has done, not just in the sense of 'Poor me' but 'What have I done, I have taken the life of my own baby'."