Sunday 18 August 2019

Parents jailed for causing or allowing two-month-old son's death

Luke Morgan and Emma Cole, the parents of nine-week-old Tyler Morgan
Photo credit: Staffordshire Police/PA Wire
Luke Morgan and Emma Cole, the parents of nine-week-old Tyler Morgan Photo credit: Staffordshire Police/PA Wire
Tyler Morgan Photo credit: Staffordshire Police/PA Wire

Matthew Cooper

A COUPLE whose baby son was smothered at their home after suffering a bite injury have both been jailed.

Luke Morgan and his partner Emma Cole were found guilty last month of causing or allowing the death of nine-week-old Tyler Morgan and child cruelty

Staffordshire Police said Morgan was jailed for a total of eight years on Friday at Stafford Crown Court, while Cole was sentenced to five years.

A six-week trial heard how Tyler suffered broken ribs before being smothered, and also had what appeared to be a human bite mark on his arm following his death in April 2014.

Tyler Morgan Photo credit: Staffordshire Police/PA Wire
Tyler Morgan Photo credit: Staffordshire Police/PA Wire

The court was told Morgan, 26, and 22-year-old Cole were heard arguing at their flat in Burntwood in the hours before Tyler was admitted to hospital.

Jurors heard claims there was a "significant" delay in contacting the emergency services after Tyler's collapse in the early hours.

Morgan and Cole, formerly of Sunnymead Road, were cleared of murder and manslaughter.

Opening the Crown's case at the start of the trial, prosecutor Andrew Smith QC showed jurors a picture of an injury to Tyler's right forearm which pathologists said was "probably" a bite mark.

Mr Smith told a jury of seven men and five women: "At 2.42am on the 29th of April 2014, Emma Cole dialled 999 to send an ambulance to her home address."

Claiming one neighbour had heard a high-pitched scream, while another described hearing a loud bang, Mr Smith said: "The prosecution say that Luke Morgan and Emma Cole were plainly arguing in the early hours.

"Their argument took place at a time when they had both been drinking alcohol."

Tyler, who was in cardiac arrest, was taken to Walsall Manor Hospital, arriving at 3.40am, and was later pronounced dead.

Commenting following the sentencing, Detective Chief Inspector Victoria Downing described the case as tragic and very distressing.

The officer said: "Our first thoughts are with Tyler, who was barely two-months-old when he lost his life, and his extended family.

"This has been a difficult and distressing case to bring before the courts and we are grateful to those who have provided evidence to allow the jury to reach this decision."

A statement issued by Tyler's grandparents read: "Losing Tyler was the worst day of our lives. Not knowing how or why is the worst situation we could have been in.

"We now need time to rebuild and heal our lives as a family. Tyler will always be in our hearts."

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