Man Cleared Of Killing Partner's Baby While Babysitting

14/08/2014 16:54 | Updated 22 May 2015

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A man has been cleared of killing his partner's nine-month-old son while babysitting.

Thomas Durkin, 26, was accused of fatally injuring John-Jay Connor, known as JJ, just an hour after he was left alone with the boy in June 2011.

Bristol Crown Court heard that Andrea Glover, 25, waved goodbye to her 'giggling' and 'happy' son at around 12pm as she left him with Mr Durkin while she ran errands.

But at 1.05pm, Mr Durkin, of Plymouth, called 999, requesting an ambulance at the home he shared with Miss Glover in Hemyock, Devon.

Paramedics who rushed to the two-bedroom flat found JJ lifeless and he was taken to hospital by air ambulance. The boy was pronounced dead at 2.24pm.

Mr Durkin was charged with manslaughter, which he denied. He told police that he had fallen asleep on the sofa with JJ beside him.

When he woke up the baby was lying on the floor with his eyes half open, making a gurgling noise and not moving.

Mr Durkin said he had tried to revive JJ by 'progressively' shaking him. "I shook him a bit, pinched his fingers and slapped his cheeks," Mr Durkin told police.

"I was really worried about him and getting more and more panicky as it went on."

Mr Durkin said he splashed cold water on JJ, dunked him in a cold bath to revive him and then began shaking him for about 30 seconds.

"I think it started off quite gently, I might have got a bit more progressive, shook him a bit more to see if he would wake up but he wasn't responsive," he said.

"A baby is a fragile thing."

The jury of 10 women and one man found Mr Durkin not guilty following a week-long trial. Mr Durkin did not wish to comment as he left court.

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