A dad has been found guilty of killing his three-month-old baby son by shaking him and immersing him in water.
Alistair Walker, 27, was today convicted of manslaughter and child cruelty following a five-week trial at Bristol Crown Court.
Mum Hannah Henry, 22, was acquitted of manslaughter – but found guilty of causing or allowing the death of a child and child cruelty.
The couple’s son, Ah’Kiell Walker, was found by paramedics naked, soaking wet and freezing cold at their home in Gloucester.
He died the following day, on July 31, 2016. A post-mortem examination found he had suffered a fatal brain injury.
The court had heard how the little boy was so wet paramedics had to tip water out of his mouth when they arrived at the property.
Meanwhile, his temperature was so low they were unable to record it.
A CT scan taken at hospital showed bleeding within the youngster’s eyes "consistent with shaking a baby", it was said.
He was also found to have fractured ribs which occurred four to eight weeks before his death, as well as a broken shoulder.
Today, shocking images emerged showing the inside of the flat where Ah’Kiell was found, surrounded by his dad’s flashy trainers and coats.
A wet carpet could be seen where medics desperately tried to save his life, while boxes of Nike shoes were scattered around the property.
A Moses basket sat on the floor beside a double bed, but the room was dominated by a clothes rack with sportswear hanging from it.
Dumbbells and exercise equipment were pictured in the room where Walker and Henry slept, beneath a wall plaque reading ‘Family.’
Footage of the couple’s police interviews was also released today, showing Henry breaking down as she recalls how Ah’Kiell stopped breathing "a bit" as she called the emergency services.
In the clip, the mum tells officers how her son coughed out "foamy blood" before sounding like he was taking his last breaths.
"Then he started having blood coming out of his nose," she says.
In another clip, Walker is seen telling police how he picked up his little boy to check he was alright after noticing he was pale.
"I’ve looked at him and he’s just limp," he says.
"So I was like, ‘Ah’Kiell?’"
He says "frothy blood" then started coming from the child’s nose.
"That’s when I panicked, from there I panicked," he recalls.
He goes on to describe how he tried to "suck" the blood out of the youngster’s nose while Henry was on the phone to a 999 operator.
"I tried to do a little CPR on his chest a bit, and that kind of cleared his airway," he tells officers. "So he kind of let up a bit more of the frothy kind of blood. When that’s come out, I’ve tried to suck it out of his nose.
‘ You know when you have a bogey and suck it out?
|I tried to kind of suck – so it clears his airways."
Walker and Henry had denied harming their baby and claimed they had found him unresponsive at their home before calling 999.
The court was played the frantic emergency call and was told Internet searches were made on Walker’s phone in June and July 2016.
Gloucestershire Police Chief Inspector Richard Pegler statement
Chief Inspector Richard Pegler, the senior investigating officer in the case from Gloucestershire Constabulary, said: "Ah’Kiell was a beautiful baby boy and his death is a tragic loss.
"This was a complex and difficult case as we don’t know precisely what happened that morning, there are only two people who do, but what we do know is that Ah’Kiell’s death was not natural or readily explained and that his injuries were indeed non accidental.
"I would like to pay tribute to the paramedics and other medical professionals in this case who clearly did their very best for Ah’Kiell, to suggest otherwise is disingenuous in my view.
"Although many would not want to think it, the sad reality is that Henry and Walker were responsible for Ah’Kiell’s death."
These included "shaken baby syndrome", "can I squeeze my baby", "internal bleeding due to trauma" and "baby broken ribs", it was said.
One search, on June 14, asked: "Can babies feel pain?", followed by "baby burst liver".
Andrew Langdon QC, prosecuting, said neither of Ah’Kiell’s parents sought medical attention for the child until Henry dialled 999 on July 30, reporting that he was not breathing.
Paramedic Gary Mills arrived at the family home within minutes of the call, made at 10.05am, and found the baby "freezing cold" and wet.
"Mr Mills noticed immediately that baby Ah’Kiell was soaking wet including his hair," Mr Langdon said.
"Mr Mills held him face down in an effort to clear his airways but he noticed as he was handling Ah’Kiell that the baby was freezing cold.
"It was a warm time of year."
The baby was taking just four "large gasps" per minute instead of the 30-40 breaths expected for a normal baby, the court heard.
His heartbeat was just 30 beats per minute, when it should have been between 90 and 130.
Walker tried to place blame on paramedics who attended the scene, and told the court: "He was made worse by the critical care.
"They put him into cardiac arrest. That’s not an attack that’s a fact."
Ah’Kiell was taken to Gloucestershire Royal Hospital, where a CT scan showed he had suffered a brain injury that was not survivable.
The jury of eight women and four men returned their unanimous verdicts today following the couple’s trial.
The judge, Sir John Royce, said the "harrowing features" of the case meant the panel would now be exempt from jury service for 15 years.
Walker and Henry, who remained emotionless as the verdicts were returned, were remanded in custody.
During the trial, consultant paediatrician Dr Caroline Moore had been called as a witness for the prosectution.
She said of Ah’Kiell: “Paramedics could not inflate his lungs because they were full of water and when they tipped him up, water came out of him, probably from the lungs not the stomach because the stomach has a valve to prevent its contents coming out.
"He probably had at least his face and mouth underwater and had taken a breath for all that fluid to be in his airway.
“His eyelids were enlarged which suggests he’s been in the water for some time.”
A pathologist found four older fractures to Ah’Kiell’s ribs, which there was "no credible accidental reason for", Mr Langdon added.
"The medical picture is of a baby who had been significantly injured during his short life before the event that caused his death," he said.
Mr Langdon told the jury that accounts given in police interviews by Walker and Henry did not explain the youngster’s injuries.
"It is inconceivable that one parent was responsible without the other one knowing," he said.
The court heard Henry told friends she wanted to end her relationship with Walker by the time Ah’Kiell was nine or 10 weeks old.
In a text message to her mother, Henry wrote: "He’s so horrible to Ah’Kiell", adding that he "couldn’t handle Ah’Kiell crying".
On July 24, a neighbour heard "terrible screaming" coming from the family home, followed by a female voice shouting "what have you done, what have you done?".
Judge Royce adjourned the sentencing of Walker and Henry until next month.
He told the jury: "Generally people on jury service are only asked to serve for two weeks.
"You have served for considerably longer than that in a case with some harrowing features.
"I am going to exempt you from further jury service for a period of 15 years."
The pair will be sentenced on June 1.
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