Mum cleared after death of baby girl

Man sentenced to six years in prison for manslaughter.

Man sentenced to six years in prison for manslaughter. - Credit: Archant

A PORTISHEAD woman has been found not guilty of manslaughter after her 16-week-old daughter died of head injuries.

Danah Vince, aged 19, of Mendip Road, was jointly charged with the baby’s father William Stephens, aged 25, of Fonthill Road in Southmead.

They both denied the charges of manslaughter and causing or allowing the death of a child, but a jury at Bristol Crown Court found Stephens guilty of manslaughter on December 12 and he was sentenced to six years in prison.

Vince was found not guilty of both offences.

Paris Vince-Stephens was admitted to Bristol Children’s Hospital with ‘catastrophic and fatal head injuries’ in January.

She died of two brain haemorrhages and hypoxic brain injury three days later.

The court heard how her injuries were caused by one of the defendants shaking her or bringing her head into contact with a soft surface.

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During the trial it was revealed Stephens has an IQ level in the bottom 0.1 per cent of the population of his age.

Speaking after the sentencing, CPS crown advocate James Ward, said: “The public may consider six years for killing a child to be lenient but it must be stressed that this is not a murder case and the defendant did not intend to kill or cause really serious harm to the child.

“He has been sentenced for the unlawful act which led to the death and the unlawful act was the shaking.

“There may only have been one shake, which is an acceleration and deceleration of the child whilst its head is unsupported, and this was done out of loss of control, probably because the baby was crying.

“It must also be remembered that the defendant is severely learning disabled which makes him unable to cope with stressful situations as those who are not learning disabled.

“Balancing the aggravating and mitigating factors, the sentence accurately reflects this case.”