Dad on trial for murder of his son branded a 'monster' and 'ticking time bomb'

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Dallas’s mother, 23-year-old Georgia Wright from Workington, is also on trial. Credit: ITV

A father who denies murdering his baby son was alleged to be a “monster” and a “ticking time bomb“ in closing speeches to jurors in his trial on Monday 30 October.

Reece Kelly, 31, admits manslaughter and that he unlawfully killed his four-month-old son Dallas Kelly.

Baby Dallas died from a traumatic brain injury on 19 October 2021, four days after he was found unresponsive at the family’s terraced Workington home.

A post mortem revealed Dallas had also suffered five broken ribs, bleeds on the brain and spine, and serious eye injuries in the form of extensive retinal bleeding.

There was further evidence of an additional rib fracture and brain bleed caused several weeks beforehand.

Kelly denies murder and is on trial at Carlisle Crown Court.

He also refutes a claim by the prosecution that he intended to cause Dallas serious harm by “forceful and vigorous” shaking.

Kelly says he shook his son “for seconds only” when he wouldn’t stop crying, and insists he did not mean to hurt him.

Dallas’s mother, 23-year-old Georgia Wright from Workington, is also on trial.

Wright denies causing or allowed Dallas’s death, prosecutors alleging that she knew the risks of leaving him in Kelly’s sole care while she went to work on 15th October, “but chose not to protect him”.

Both Kelly and Wright also deny a charge alleging cruelty towards Dallas during his short life by failing to provide adequate parental supervision and care, failing to take him to medical appointments and exposing him to harmful substances.

During the past two weeks at Carlisle Crown Court, a jury of 10 men and two women heard evidence from Wright in the witness box that she now thinks of Kelly as “a monster”.

In his closing speech, Richard Littler KC, said: “The prosecution say at the beginning we agree with Georgia Wright about one thing and that is that Reece Kelly is a monster.

"Sadly for Georgia Wright, he was a monster and she knew or ought to have known he was a monster before 15th October, 2021.

"Any sober parent would have seen the problem with leaving Mr Kelly looking after Dallas.”

Mr Littler said both defendants were “heavily addicted” to opiate-based prescription medication and other illegal drugs which left them “physically and mentally disabled, either when feeling the effects of the drug itself or withdrawing from them”.

Mr Littler continued: “Debt and withdrawal led to domestic arguments, domestic violence and, inevitably, harm and neglect to Dallas.

“He was a ticking time bomb and he intended to cause really serious harm.

“His drug use, his financial worries, his emotional state, meant that he was liable to explode into violence and he did just that when he shook Dallas for long enough to cause the catastrophic injuries.

“This is murder, not manslaughter.”

Of Kelly and Wright, the prosecutor further alleged that “drugs came first” before childcare.

Trial judge Mr Justice Dove is expected to sum up evidence on Tuesday 31 October.

As the trial continues, the judge has reminded the jury to put sympathy and emotion aside when they retire to consider their verdicts.

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