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Michael Davis given life sentence for murdering his baby son – who suffered a ‘snapped neck’

A father who murdered his month-old baby son – who died after suffering a “snapped neck” – has been sentenced to life in prison.

Ollie Davis was found lifeless in his crib in the bedroom he shared with his parents in in October 2017 with more than 20 broken ribs and fractures to his skull, collar bone, both arms and the joints of all his limbs.

Michael Davis, 29, was found guilty of his murder and two counts of grievous bodily harm last month, while the baby’s mother Kayleigh Driver, 31, was convicted of causing or allowing the death of a child and causing or allowing serious physical injury.

The pair were found guilty after a two-month trial which heard Ollie’s “neck was snapped between four and eight days prior to his death”.

Davis was given a life sentence with a minimum term of 22 years today, as the judge said the murder had involved a “devastating” fatal spinal injury and other injuries usually seen after a “high energy car crash”.

Mr Justice Cotter said he was sure Davis had inflicted all of the injuries during four overnight “episodes” of violence and had shown “callous indifference” to Ollie’s suffering by not seeking medical help.

“I have no doubt that during the night you became frustrated and angry and this led to terrible violence,” the judge told him.

“You assaulted him on multiple occasions. The attacks in their various forms were also brutal – in particular the fatal neck injury.”

Driver, who was cleared by a jury of murder and causing grievous bodily harm, was jailed for seven years as she appeared for sentence on a mobility scooter due to a chronic neurological condition.

The judge told her: “You must have heard Ollie’s cries after he was assaulted, as you were together in the bedroom. This must have woken you up.”

Kayleigh Driver. Pic: PA
Image: Kayleigh Driver outside court during her trial. Pic: PA

Abuse left baby with broken bones and brain injury

Prosecutor John Hankin KC told the jury: “Ollie could not have caused the injuries to himself – he was a five-week-old pre-mobile baby.

“A broken neck was not the only injury Ollie sustained. Medical investigation revealed Ollie had sustained a total of 37 fractures.

“They included fractures to the skull, his collar bone, both arms between the shoulder and the elbow, 23 rib fractures and fractures to the joints of all four limbs.

“He also suffered brain injuries, bleeding over the surface of the brain.”

Mr Hankin said Ollie was subjected to serious physical abuse “most likely to have taken place during the last 10 days of his life”.

Davis couldn’t explain Ollie’s injuries, telling police he was “quite shocked” and that his son had “seemed fine” when he fell asleep.

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‘Our little ray of sunshine’

After Davis and Driver were found guilty, Ollie’s wider family paid tribute to him in a statement.

They said: “Ollie, you came into our world on 21 September 2017. You melted our hearts with those big blue eyes. Our little ray of sunshine.

“We have been left with such a void in our hearts. Ollie, life has never been the same.

“You will always be with us our sweet boy. Until we meet again our little one.

“Catch all the love and kisses we send up to you.

“Your loving broken-hearted family.”