Father convicted of murder of baby Hunter Mathias in Barnsley

Leon Mathias/Hunter Mathias
Leon Mathias caused his son, Hunter, fatal injuries. Credit: South Yorkshire Police

A man has been convicted of murdering his nine-week-old baby in a "moment of frustration" while giving him a bath.

Leon Mathias, 34, shook his son Hunter to death at their home in Barnsley on 30 November 2018.

The prosecution told Mathias's trial at Sheffield Crown Court that the incident happened while the labourer was alone with his son upstairs after a long day at work and Hunter was crying.

Mathias alerted Hunter’s mother, who was downstairs with a friend, that something was wrong.

Hunter died at Sheffield Children's Hospital three days later. He had suffered a bleed on the brain, swelling to the brain and extensive bleeding in the retinas of his eyes.

He had a number of fractures and bruising to his head at the time of his death.

Mathias denied shaking Hunter, claiming he "went floppy" while he was holding him. His defence team said his death could have been caused by a rare form of pneumonia.

Mathias was convicted by a majority after a 13-week trial.

Senior investigating officer Det Ch Insp Mark Oughton said: "This has been a protracted and complex investigation and trial, and I welcome the decision reached by the jury today.

"We will never know exactly what happened during Hunter’s bath time on 30 November 2018. What we do know is that he suffered catastrophic injuries at the hands of his father. I am pleased justice has been served today.”

Mathias was cleared of causing grievous bodily harm with intent.