Father guilty of manslaughter after shaking his 15-week-old son to death

A father has been found guilty of manslaughter after shaking his 15-week-old son to death.

Cody Rhys Williams-Jones suffered "catastrophic head injuries" and died at the University Hospital of Wales in 2016.

Matthew Jones, 26, of Ebbw Vale, was cleared of murder but found guilty of manslaughter following a trial at Newport Crown Court.

Matthew Jones had denied both murder and manslaughter Credit: Family photo

Jones had been left alone with Cody on December 7th 2016, while Cody's mother went to visit her sister who lived nearby.

Shortly after 6pm, Cody's mother received a call from Jones who said Cody wouldn’t stop crying. She told him to use some teething gel to soothe him. A few minutes later Jones called again, saying “it’s the baby, I don’t know what’s wrong” and telling her to come home immediately.

When she arrived she saw Jones in the street holding Cody who appeared to be “floppy”. Jones called 999 and went on to administer CPR.

The 999 call was played to the court during the trial.

Cody died the following day, and a post-mortem examination gave the cause of death as a catastrophic head injury.

Jones had claimed he had accidentally dropped Cody onto the bed when the baby "pushed off his chest."

But experts found Cody's injuries were not consistent with Jones' version of events.

Paul Lewis QC said: "What was to be seen was likely to be due to an episode of abusive head trauma, involving a shaking mechanism."

Mr Lewis said Cody had also suffered "older injuries" including a fractured shoulder, broken ribs and a bleed on the brain.

Cody died in December 2016 Credit: Family photo

Jones broke down in tears as he was convicted. He was remanded in custody to be sentenced at a later date.

After the case, Susan Crossley of the CPS said: “Throughout this case, there have been several explanations from Matthew Jones as to the cause of Cody’s injuries whilst in his sole care.

“The expert evidence called by the CPS showed that it was highly doubtful these explanations would result in the fatal injuries.

“Cody had everything to live for and that chance was taken away by his own father. It is difficult to imagine the heart-break the family has gone through and our thoughts are firmly with them.”