South Yorkshire man killed girlfriend’s baby

James Larkin
James Larkin
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A 26-year-old Doncaster man has been found guilty of manslaughter of his girlfriend's baby after their aggressive and abusive relationship caused him to 'snap'.

James Larkin shook the baby so violently he caused him irreversible brain injury at their home in September 2014. Christopher died in hospital the next day, aged just 11 and a half weeks.

Larkin was also found guilty of perverting the course of justice and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

His girlfriend, the baby's mother Laura Ostle, was found guilty of perverting the course of justice and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

Sheffield Crown Court heard how both defendants told lies to police in an effort to cover up the truth - that Larkin’s actions killed Christopher.

The tot's mum even texted Larkin from the ambulance, rushing the dying child to hospital, in order to align their accounts.

"In the immediate aftermath, and in the days that followed, both were thinking only of saving themselves. They were not thinking of the best interests of the tiny newborn," said Senior Crown Prosecutor Julian Briggs.

This was an absolutely tragic case. Baby Christopher was born into the care of two deeply inadequate individuals.

"His mother’s aggressive and abusive relationship with her boyfriend, Larkin, who was not the child’s father, led him to snap.

"Nothing will ever be the same for Christopher’s wider family. I hope these verdicts are of some comfort to them in their grief".