A mother looked into the face of the man who shook her baby to death in her Easton home and told her he “robbed him of the chance to grow up.”
The distraught mother made her personal victim statement to Marcus Carter when he appeared in court today (February 14). She admitted to killing her 10-week-old son, but has never revealed how, despite experts agreeing that the little boy was shaken so hard, he suffered broken ribs, respiratory failure and catastrophic brain injury.
She told Bristol Crown Court: “He is responsible for my son’s death. He was supposed to be the father of my child.
READ MORE: Former Eastwood Park detention center physical education instructor denies abusing inmates
“He shook him to death and denied it for two and a half years. Why don’t you care what (he) went through?”
Carter, 43, whose address was Burns Road in Moxley, Walsall, originally faced a murder charge after the baby’s death in August 2020. He was due to stand trial but pleaded guilty to manslaughter in January this year. , which was accepted.
The Honorable Mrs. Justice Henrietta Hill imprisoned him for seven years and eight months. She told Carter, “(He) leaves a grieving family. The devastation is evident in his intensely personal and moving statements.”
Christopher Quinlan KC, prosecutor, said Carter’s relationship with the baby’s mother was strained after the birth. There came a time when she had packed her bags for him to leave.
The court heard how the baby, whom Bristol Live does not name, may be fussing and crying. The baby’s GP suggested that the crying might be due to colic, but he was happy with the baby’s health.
Quinlan described Carter’s approach to parenting as “very hands-on.” But there was no evidence that they saw him mistreat the baby.
After the mother and baby returned home from a day out, it was turned over to Carter, the court heard. A young witness described hearing Carter repeat the baby’s name and then saying, “Oh my gosh.”
The witness then saw Carter trying to revive the unresponsive baby by shaking him back and forth. When that failed, he went to get help.
It is the prosecution’s case that within a five-minute window, Carter had shaken the baby, knocking him unconscious, and was later seen trying to revive him. A witness who arrived at the scene saw Carter holding the baby and saying, “Come on son, breathe, wake up.”
The court heard that doctors fought to save the baby, who was taken to Bristol Children’s Hospital. Tragically, his fan went off eleven days after the assault and he passed away.
Carter told police that she had tried to calm her son, who was crying. He said that he stopped crying, the baby became unresponsive and panicked, placing the palm of her hand on his chest, rubbing and hitting him to no avail. Carter claimed that it was “1,000 percent” the case that he never caused the injury.
The victim’s mother told the court: “What could possibly happen to cause a person to shake a baby so forcefully? I have so many questions. I live in hopes that they will be answered.”
“Marcus, you have taken my son, a brother, a nephew, a grandson, and a great-grandson. You stole him from us when he was only 10 weeks old.”
“They have robbed him of the opportunity to grow up, have a childhood, go to school and university, have a first girlfriend, become a father and experience life itself. I have been robbed of the opportunity to be his mother, take care of him and love him. “
Gareth James, defending, said: “The defendant is a man who caused no concern. In a very rapid incident he lost control of himself, which no doubt everyone wishes would never happen.”
James said his client was very sorry about what happened. He said his GP had prescribed Carter antidepressants, but he had told the Probation Service that he didn’t want to talk about what happened because it made things worse.
Detective Chief Inspector Roger Doxsey, the lead investigating officer, said: “This is a truly tragic case and our hearts go out to the child’s mother and family. The force Carter used, for whatever reason, was completely disproportionate and resulted in catastrophic injuries to him.
“He refused to accept his role in what happened for over two years, until he was faced with overwhelming medical evidence and other evidence collected from witnesses and CCTV video. It is of little comfort to the child’s family that they do not have to go through a trial that would undoubtedly have caused them even more anguish.
“They wanted Carter to tell them about everything he did that day and why he shook the boy so hard. He still hasn’t done it in detail, but we hope today is a key step for him to accept responsibility for his actions and the young life he took from him.”
Sign up for our new Bristol Court Insider newsletter for the latest court and criminal news, from arrests to trials and sentencing.