Cruel dad who 'bashed' and shook his 'delightful baby' son to death is jailed

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David Hollick left his baby son with catastrophic injuries before he was found "floppy and not breathing"

A cruel dad who killed his 'delightful' six-month old baby son has been jailed for 15 years.

David Hollick, 29, left little Kairo Hollick with catastrophic injuries before he was found "floppy and not breathing" on 9 February 2020. The youngster died three days later (12 February) at Birmingham Children’s Hospital in his mother's arms.

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A court heard Hollick committed a "grotesque breach of trust" when he caused the non-survivable brain injury by violently shaking Kairo and "bashing" his head at least twice. He attacked his son during the middle of the night while at his parent's home - but later claimed he had fallen with Kairo in his arms.

A jury cleared him of murder but found him guilty of manslaughter following a trial at Birmingham Crown Court last month. Hollick, of Walsall, West Midlands, wept in the dock as he was locked up for 15 years at the same court on Monday (March 4).

Sentencing, Mr Justice Dove KC said: "The evidence of the medical experts is that the injuries were not the result of rough handling but were the consequences of severe blunt force impact trauma. These injuries were inflicted by a very serious assault on Kairo which involved the use of considerable force, inflicting injuries from which he had no chance of recovery.

"You, David Hollick, were responsible for the infliction of those injuries. Kairo was in your care at the time. You were the only person who knows what happened that night and how Kairo came by his fatal injuries. In the middle of the trial you gave an account that you had tripped and fell while holding Kairo."

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He continued: "The jury rejected this suggested explanation and were sure that the injuries were not caused by an accident. You intended that Kairo should be harmed. Kairo's family will never know what caused you to inflict such serious injuries and kill their son and grandson.

"He was entirely dependent on you for his care. he was extremely vulnerable. What you did to him was a complete betrayal of your duty as a parent. It is clear from the videos we saw in the trial what a delightful baby he was. It is hard to think of a more grotesque breach of trust between a parent and their child, when the parent assaults and kills their own child."

The court heard Kairo was the second child of the relationship between Hollick and Kairo’s mother, Adina Johnson, who met when they were teenagers. David Mason KC, prosecuting, said: "They decided to have another child and along came Kairo, but the relationship foundered and, shortly after Kairo was born, the two of them separated.

"The evidence would suggest that David Hollick was keen to try and rekindle things, but it never happened. David Hollick ended up living back with his parents and his younger brother. However, things were civil between the two of them and it was decided that the care of the two boys would be split between them.

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"There were no real issues at first, although it did become a concern of Adina’s towards the end of 2019, that Hollick was not looking after their sons as well as she had liked, but it had not come to the stage that she prevented him from looking after them."

The boys were dropped off as normal on the weekend and at 4.30am on February 9, Hollick went into his father's room to say Kairo was not breathing. A decision was made to take the boy to Walsall Manor Hospital where a scan revealed he had bleeding on the brain. He was transferred to Birmingham's Children's Hospital but his brain injuries were not survivable.

Mr Mason said a post mortem revealed that Kairo had a catastrophic brain injury, with two fractures to the skull, along with a fracture to the right forearm. In a heartbreaking statement his mother said: "It has been four years since this nightmare began. I last held my son when he died in my arms. I wish I had taken my boys back home with my but I did not.

"He seemed a dream baby who was too good to be true. I never imagined that would be the last time I looked into his eyes. I will never see him take his first steps, never hear him call me mum. I will never see him open Christmas presents under the tree.

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"When Kairo was taken from me my life stopped. I suffer from anxiety and panic attacks and struggle to leave my house on my own. I have depression and have become more and more isolated. I am horrified that he could inflict that level of violence on his own flesh and blood.

"It is clear he was only interested in his own self preservation. Kairo was the light of my life. He was adored and I will grieve forever."

Chief Inspector Laura Harrison, from West Midlands Police's homicide unit, said: “The death of a child is unimaginable to comprehend, especially a defenceless six-month-old who should be in the safest hands possible with his parent. Our thoughts remain with Kairo’s family as they continue to grieve his loss.”