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A man who ‘forcefully’ shook his baby son, which later resulted in the boy’s tragic death, has been jailed

A man who ‘forcefully’ shook his baby son, causing injuries which later resulted in the boy’s tragic death, has been jailed.

Matthew Banks was sentenced to three years and eight months’ imprisonment when he appeared before Winchester Crown Court on Friday 21 October.

He had earlier pleaded guilty to manslaughter following an investigation by the West Sussex Safeguarding Investigations Unit into the death of two-year-old Leo Banks.

Leo died at home in February 2020, having been receiving specialist in-patient and out-patient treatment for head injuries he suffered in December 2017 when he was just four weeks old.

He tragically succumbed to his injuries when he was two years and three months old.

Banks, 34, of Gilbert Road, Chichester, was interviewed by police in relation to those injuries and admitted shaking Leo ‘quite vigorously’ while he was looking after him during the night.

He said Leo had been crying hysterically and seemed stressed during a feed, leading Banks to become frustrated and tired.

It wasn’t until the morning, when Leo’s mother woke up and realised he was unwell, that medical help was sought.

Investigating officer, Detective Constable Owen Watkins, said: “This is a heart-breaking case that resulted in the tragic and untimely death of an innocent two-year-old boy.

“Matthew Banks was one of the people trusted to look after and care for Leo, but instead his actions caused injuries that Leo was sadly unable to recover from.

“No sentence will ever change what has happened, but this case serves as a reminder to others that we will fully investigate serious crimes such as this, and will hold those responsible to account.

“I’d like to commend all the family for their strength and courage throughout. Our thoughts remain with them at this extremely difficult time.”

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