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Mother who abandoned baby son to die alone in his cot is jailed

Stacey Davis has been jailed after leaving her baby home to die in 27C with a fractured skull while she got a car wash and went shopping. (SWNS)
Stacey Davis has been jailed after leaving her baby home to die in 27C. (SWNS)

A mother has been jailed after leaving her baby at home to die in 27C with a fractured skull while she ran errands.

Stacey Davis, 35, left one-year-old Ethan Davis in his cot for two hours in hot weather in June 2018 with no windows open or fans on while she took her car for a wash, went to a shop and visited a park, a court heard.

When she got home she failed to check on him for at least another 30 minutes while she texted a friend.

Davis, of Melksham, Wiltshire, eventually found him lifeless and unresponsive in his cot when she checked on him. The youngster was taken to hospital but pronounced dead shortly afterwards.

Davis, who the court heard regularly smoked cannabis around her son, has now been jailed for two years for child cruelty at Salisbury Crown Court after previously admitting the offence.

One-year-old Ethan Davis was abandoned at home alone - trapped in a warm room with no windows open or fans on in hot weather. (SWNS)
One-year-old Ethan Davis was abandoned at home alone - trapped in a warm room with no windows open or fans on in hot weather. (SWNS)

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Prosecutor Simon Jones told the court that a post-mortem examination found a significant head injury - a 15cm skull fracture - but Ethan's cause of death remained unascertained.

Davis had told police that her son had fallen and hit his head but despite the swelling, bruising and obvious distress, she hadn't taken him to hospital.

"Any reasonable parent would have noticed the distress and sought medical attention", the prosecutor added.

Forensic investigator Nicola Anderson said there were high levels of cannabis in Ethan's hair, suggesting Davis had smoked the drug around him regularly.

Defence barrister Mark Ashley said his client's case was a "classic example of post-natal depression" and she had suffered financial issues and struggled to bond with her son, who was born prematurely via C-section and required colon surgery immediately, resulting in a two-month stay in hospital.

He said she was scared to take him to hospital with an injury after social services previously removed him from her care due to a suspected broken leg, which was later found not to exist and he was returned to his mother.

Davis admitted child cruelty in relation to her son's death in 2018. (SWNS)
Davis admitted child cruelty in relation to her son's death in 2018. (SWNS)

He said Davis had been working to cut out her cannabis use, and asked for a suspended prison sentence, adding: "Everybody involved is trying to rebuild their lives, she is trying to rebuild her life."

Describing Davis' behaviour as "thoroughly selfish", Judge Parkes KC imposed a two-year immediate prison sentence, for which she will serve half in custody.

He said it was "particularly appalling" that Davis did not check on him for three hours.

"You sat on a bench at one point, and you took [a child] to the park and went to a shop. You had taken your car to the car wash on way back. It is reasonably clear you weren’t in a hurry.

He added: "There is no evidence you or his father caused Ethan's death, no suggestion you did so. The sad fact is that you fell very seriously short of the duty owed to Ethan as his mother.

"You failed to seek medical attention for the injury to his head. Any normal parent would put the child’s health before anything.

"It is clear you abandoned him on two occasions, including the day of this death.

"What is particularly appalling about this episode is that you spent half an hour on the phone, sending and receiving messages [when you arrived home], until you went to check on Ethan.

"You had not seen him, checked on him, for nearly three hours."