Man who killed three-month-old infant after wife told him the child was 'possibly' not his son pleads guilty
Rich is said to have fatally injured Patrick by gripping him, shaking him, and forcefully throwing him into a Moses basket 3-4ft below after he was told by his wife, Kirsty Bradley, that he may not be the father of the infant
A man who was arrested for killing a three-month-old baby because he doubted if the child was his has pleaded guilty to charges of manslaughter.
According to a report by Daily Mail, 53-year-old Paul Rich was due to stand trial at the Bristol Crown Court this first week of June on charges of murder and causing grievous bodily harm with the intent to injure over the March 2017 murder of his "son", Patrick Bradley. Rich is said to have fatally injured Patrick by gripping him, shaking him, and forcefully throwing him into a Moses basket 3-4ft below after he was told by his wife, Kirsty Bradley, that he may not be the father of the infant.
The court heard that the 53-year-old was initially assured by Bradley that he was the father and that his name would be listed on the birth certificate, but that he developed doubts after he read texts where his wife referred to Patrick as "our" child to another man.
When he confronted her at the time and asked her again if he was the father, she said, "possibly, I don't know." Sally Howes QC prosecuting told the court that he subsequently went on to fatally injure the infant while he was looking after him at their home in Swindon on March 25, 2017.
In a recording of the 999 call played by the prosecution, Rich can be heard describing the infant's condition and saying, "It's the baby. Just got him out of his cot. He's not looking right to me. His eyes are semi-open and he seems all floppy to me."
Patrick was first rushed to the Great Western Hospital for treatment and later transferred to the specialist intensive care unit at Bristol Children's Hospital. But within a few hours, he started showing flickering eye moments, suggesting seizure activity and brain malfunction.
On March 27, his pupils became fixed and dilated, indicating brain stem dysfunction, with an MRI scan showing he had suffered severe brain injury as a result of oxygen deprivation. He was also found to have suffered three broken ribs and never recovered from his injuries, with life support eventually withdrawn on March 30.
The cause of death was determined to be a "severe head injury" and Rich was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder, though he categorically denied the allegations and said he was "just caring for the child" and that he was a "family man".
He claimed the infant had sustained the injuries after he accidentally dropped him, though that explanation was brushed away by Howes, who pointed to how the three-month-old had suffered compression to the ribs, shaking and a severe blunt force impact to the head. "It is the Crown's case that all the injuries were inflicted and sustained during the same assault upon Patrick," she said.
However, the case will no longer go to trial after prosecutors reportedly agreed to accept Rich's guilty plea to manslaughter. The two charges of grievous bodily harm with intent to injure were ordered to remain on file. Rich is scheduled to be sentenced at the Bristol Crown Court on Wednesday, June 5.
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