17-year-old dad kills his 6-week-old baby boy after 'violently swinging him by the leg' and 'biting his nose' at a party
Doulton Phillips murdered his infant son Reggie at a party in February even as the boy's mother Alannah Skinner failed to call an ambulance in a sick bid to 'protect' her partner
A six-week-old baby boy died after being bitten on the nose and violently swung by the leg by his teenage father, leading to the conviction of both parents Thursday.
Little Reggie was murdered by his father, 17-year-old Doulton Philips, before his mother, 19-year-old Alannah Skinner, decided not to call an ambulance in order to "protect" her partner. Hours before Reggie's murder in February this year, Philips took the Class A drug ecstasy and Skinner drank alcohol at a party to which they took the infant along. Shockingly, Philips bit Reggie's nose and swung him by the leg — leaving the helpless infant with catastrophic fatal injuries including a fractured skull, Daily Mail reports.
The cruel father was convicted of murder on Thursday, December 20, at the Winchester Crown Court after jurors deliberated for four days before reaching the unanimous verdict. As the verdict was delivered, the teenager held his head in his hands and later collapsed after learning he would spend the rest of his life in prison.
On the other hand, Skinner, who failed to seek help after Reggie was gravely injured, was convicted of willful neglect and failure to protect the baby. She sobbed as jurors delivered a majority verdict on one count and a unanimous verdict on the other.
In the early hours of February 10 this year, paramedics rushed to the couple's residence in Southampton. They immediately took little Reggie to the hospital, where it was found that the six-week-old tot had suffered a series of fractured ribs and a spiral break to one of his legs caused by being violently swung by his father.
Prosecutor Adam Feest QC opened the case, saying: "The father inflicted serious and fatal injuries on the baby. Most notably among those injuries was a serious, complex skull fracture to the back of the baby's head and a spiral fracture to the left femur in his leg. There were a number of fractures to ribs, all sustained close to the time of his death."
He continued, "The baby met a violent end as a result of the injuries perpetrated against him while inside a small flat with his father and mother. The window to inflict the injuries was narrow. He was seen alive and well at 2.30 am and help was sought from a neighbor at 4.30 am. At that time, those non-survivable injuries were already present. The pattern of the bite was consistent with the dental pattern of the father. The deliberate infliction of those injuries was done by the father. Whether in a fit of temper or otherwise, he inflicted those injuries which led to his son's death."
Feest added, "His explanation of his son accidentally falling from the sofa when having his nappy changed or having fallen from his arms while they argued cannot, we say, account for the severity or multiplicity of the injuries sustained. The nature of those injuries is such that the person who inflicted them must have intended to cause really serious injury or death. They are more in keeping with violent shaking, a swinging or both. It must have been obvious to the father he had caused serious injury to his son."
According to Feest, Philips alleged said to a friend, "What have I done?" while waiting to hear Reggie's condition. Neighbors heard a "blood-curdling scream" from the baby during the attack, he added.
That said, Skinner was outside on a balcony smoking when the injuries were inflicted on the infant. Nonetheless, she refused to call an ambulance fearing she would lose either her son or boyfriend, according to Feest.
The prosecutor continued: "The physical manifestation of those injuries would have been immediately apparent to anybody who had contact with the baby — particular his mother. And yet, she did not seek help for her son until she sent a friend down to a neighbor's a significant time after he had been injured. The exact sequence of events may never be known; either she saw her partner assault her son in a violent way or, if not, she must have been aware shortly afterward."
He added, "The injuries were present and the only person who could have done it was her partner. It may be she helped clean up the bleeding her partner's biting caused. Whether to protect him or for some other reason, she willfully neglected her son by failing to take steps to protect him from her partner or not seeking help until much later than she should have.
Feest pointed out, "She knew an ambulance or outside help should have been called, but she chose not to do so. Her son needed help, he was seriously injured, and she decided not to do that for him. When the neighbor she sent her friend to for help asked why the mother had not called an ambulance, the mother told her the reason was she had not wanted to lose either of them."
While Skinner was released on bail by Justice Robin Spencer, Philips was carried into custody. The pair is scheduled to be sentenced on Friday.
An NSPCC spokesman spoke after the case: "The injuries suffered by this defenseless six-week-old baby are truly horrific. Tragically, the pain and suffering he endured during his short life were at the hands of his own father — someone who should have loved and protected him from harm. Despite the fact the newborn was clearly injured, his own mother then callously failed to seek the necessary medical attention he so desperately needed."