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Home Breaking A postman who killed his girlfriend’s toddler after becoming “irritated” with him has been jailed for manslaughter

A postman who killed his girlfriend’s toddler after becoming “irritated” with him has been jailed for manslaughter

  Scott Coombe repeatedly assaulted 18-month-old Andrew Cawker over the course of a year after moving into Tamika Beaton’s flat in southeast London, eventually killing the boy with a fatal head injury. Beaton, 25, suspected her son was being abused but did not intervene or seek help, according to the Metropolitan Police. In July 2019, Andrew died after being violently shaken and thrown by Coombe, who had grown “irritated” with caring for him while Beaton was at a dance class. After his head hit the floor, the toddler lost consciousness and died two weeks later in the hospital. Coombe was sentenced to nine years in prison at the Old Bailey on Friday after admitting manslaughter, child cruelty, and assaulting the toddler three times. After being found guilty of child cruelty, Beaton was sentenced to 12 months in prison, suspended for 18 months. Coombe called 999 after fatally injuring Andrew, claiming the child had become “a bit stiff” and had suffered a seizure, the court heard. However, hospital personnel expressed concern that the injuries could not have been caused by chance. After Andrew’s death, the 24-year-old postman was arrested on suspicion of grievous bodily harm and then on suspicion of murder.   A post-mortem examination revealed that the child died as a result of a head injury, with several other bruises found around his face and shoulder. A pathologist concluded Coombe’s account of what happened was “implausible” given the level of injuries suffered by the toddler. During the police investigation, detectives discovered pictures and messages documenting Andrew’s injuries on both Coombe and Beaton’s phones. Tamika Beaton was found guilty of child cruelty. Met Police said it was clear from the phone evidence that Andrew’s injuries occurred while he was in the sole care of Coombe, who began dating Beaton in July 2018. The court heard that Beaton had cheated on Andrew’s father, Ben Cawker, with Coombe after meeting him at a fitness class. Mr Cawker became “very concerned” when Beaton sent him a photo of Andrew’s rib injuries in April 2019, jurors heard. Beaton, on the other hand, suggested to her ex-partner that he could have caused the wounds while caring for their son. She repeated the accusations during a police interview, despite knowing that the injuries occurred while Andrew was being cared for solely by Coombe. More: Parents imprisoned after their baby died with more than 60 broken bones Star Hobson’s murder has ‘torn apart’ a family. ‘Vigorous’ shaking of the boy Beaton indicated in messages to her mother that she was aware Andrew was being abused in Coombe’s care, but she chose not to intervene, allowing the abuse to continue, according to the Met Police. Sally O’Neill KC, the prosecutor, told the court: “She not only did nothing to protect Andrew from Scott Coombe’s injuries, but she also attempted to cover them up by blaming them on his father, Ben Cawker. “She was putting her own interests ahead of Andrew’s, with disastrous consequences for Andrew.” Coombe admitted manslaughter because he “became irritated with (Andrew) and picked him up by grabbing his upper arms and, in a moment of anger and frustration, shook him vigorously backwards and forwards briefly and then threw him backwards,” according to the prosecutor. Photographs of Andrew taken before his death showed the toddler looking unhappy, jurors were told. The court heard that Andrew was supposed to start nursery, but Beaton refused to take him because staff might question his bruises. Coombe, of Petts Wood in southeast London, pleaded guilty to manslaughter in February at the Old Bailey. Beaton, of Peckham, was found guilty of child cruelty in October after a trial at the same court. ‘A defenceless child was subjected to prolonged abuse.’ Beaton’s “inaction most certainly played a part” in her son’s death, according to Detective Sergeant Quinn Cutler, who led the police investigation. “This is a heartbreaking case in which a defenceless child was subjected to prolonged abuse at the hands of those who should have been caring for him, resulting in his death,” said the senior officer. “Andrew should have been at home with his mother and her partner, where he felt safe. “However, over the course of a year, Andrew was subjected to a series of assaults by Scott Coombe, culminating in the fatal attack on July 9, 2019. “Tamika Beaton, his mother, clearly suspected Coombe was to blame for his injuries but chose not to intervene or seek help. Indeed, when questioned by police, she attempted to blame another man. “While Beaton did not directly inflict injuries on her son, her inaction undoubtedly contributed to his death.”

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