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  1. ITV Report

Father jailed for murdering six-week-old son

Lee Vernon, who murdered his six-week-old son McKenzie Ellis. Credit: Kent Police/PA

A father who murdered his six-week-old son has been jailed for life.

Lee Vernon inflicted fatal head injuries on baby McKenzie Ellis in Broadstairs, Kent, and was sentenced to life in prison on Friday, Kent Police said.

Vernon, 21 and of no fixed address, was found guilty of murder and two counts of grievous bodily harm following a trial at Maidstone Crown Court in October 2019.

He was sentenced at the same court on Friday and will serve a minimum term of 16 years.

Baby McKenzie died at a London hospital in July last year.

Six-week-old McKenzie Ellis who was murdered by his father Lee Vernon. Credit: Family handout/PA

Kent Police said they were alerted on July 23 2018 when Vernon called the emergency services to report his son was unconscious and he had no idea why.

When asked if the child had hurt himself in any way he replied “no, not really”, police said.

Medical crews found McKenzie had suffered trauma to his head and he died at a specialist trauma unit three days later.

In police interview Vernon said his son had accidentally fallen from his grip, causing the child to hit himself on the arm of a sofa before falling to the floor.

Medical experts however disclosed McKenzie had suffered multiple injuries, some of which would have been caused on at least two previous occasions.

'Impossible to comprehend the unnecessary suffering'

Detective Chief Inspector Richard Vickery, Kent Police’s investigating officer for this case, said: “It is impossible to comprehend the unnecessary suffering McKenzie endured during his short life and I am pleased Vernon has received a substantial sentence that means he is not able to harm another child.

“This was a complex and deeply emotional case and I am grateful to the medical experts, and my investigation team, who worked tirelessly to pursue justice for McKenzie.”