Monday 22 April 2019

Father who inflicted 'obscene' injuries on baby son found guilty of murder

Kane Kennedy, 20, formerly of Harewood Avenue, Heysham, who has been found guilty at Preston Crown Court of murdering his seven-month-old son by inflicting
Kane Kennedy, 20, formerly of Harewood Avenue, Heysham, who has been found guilty at Preston Crown Court of murdering his seven-month-old son by inflicting "frankly obscene" injuries on him Credit: Lancashire Police/PA Wire

Kim Pilling

A father has been found guilty of murdering his seven-month-old son by inflicting "frankly obscene" injuries on him.

Regular cannabis smoker Kane Kennedy, 20, was said to "bad-tempered" when he could not get hold of the drug and argued regularly with the mother of their child.

Preston Crown Court heard he forcibly got hold of Oskar Jobey-Kennedy's testicles, by either gripping, pinching or twisting them, and then pushed his fingers down the throat of the defenceless boy.

He then placed his hand over the mouth of the child who was smothered to death.

Kennedy denied murder between September 30 and October 1 last year and tried to blame Oskar's mother, Tia Jobey, but a jury did not believe his account.

Kennedy, formerly of Harewood Avenue, Heysham, will be sentenced on December 15.

Jobey, 19, of Balmoral Road, Morecambe, pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to causing or allowing the death of a child.

On Tuesday, she was sentenced to 30 months in a young offender institution.

Paramedics were called to the Balmoral Road address shortly before 9am on October 1 to a report that Oskar had been found unresponsive. He was taken to Royal Lancaster Infirmary but was pronounced dead soon after arrival.

A catalogue of non-accidental injuries were identified in the post-mortem exmaination, with a total of 13 marks to his face and neck.

There was also bruising to both testicles with the jury being told that such injuries would have caused "immense pain" when Oskar was alive.

The court heard Jobey and Kennedy started arguing two months previously over the latter's use of cannabis.

Jobey told police that Kennedy would be "stressy" when he could not smoke cannabis which "makes him paranoid about everything".

She admitted it was not a good relationship and that she should have left Kennedy but she was scared of being alone.

Stuart Denney QC, representing Jobey, said: "This young lady is going to carry the burden of what she did, or rather what she didn't do, for the rest of her life. She could have, and should have, done more than she did."

He said his client had fallen "head over heels in love" with Kennedy when she was 16-years-old and it was her first proper relationship.

Jobey's affections for him effectively "blinded her to reality", the barrister said.

The jury was told the pair had exchanged Facebook messages in the months before in which Jobey confronted Kennedy about him sticking his finger down her son's throat.

Jobey told police she thought Kennedy would change but when she learned the extent of the injuries inflicted on Oskar when arrested in Febraury she ended the relationship.

Sentencing Jobey, Mr Justice Davis said: "You had identified occasions in the past that he had suffocated Oskar. He put his hand over Oskar's mouth. He had shoved his fingers down Oskar's throat. Those are the two things that immediately happened before Oskar died.

"You knew that was something that could happen and had happened, but yet you did nothing."

The judge said he did not accept she could not foresee the risk of death.

He added: "In my judgment you must have appreciated that conceivably could be the consequence."

On Wednesday, Detective Chief Inspector Jon Holmes, of Lancashire Constabulary's Force Major Investigation Team, said: "The level of injuries inflicted on this defenceless child by Kennedy are frankly obscene. It is almost impossible to understand the mindset of someone who could do this to any child, let alone their own son.

"I would like to thank the jury for their careful consideration of what must have been a hugely distressing case and I welcome the decision they have made today.

"My thanks also go to the Crown Prosecution Service and counsel for their presentation of the case to the court and finally my thoughts remain with the wider family of baby Oskar who have been through so much over the last year. I hope that this verdict can offer them some comfort as they try to move on with their lives."

Press Association

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