UK

Father who killed six-month-old son with ‘severe’ blow jailed for 15 years

David Hollick was cleared of murder but convicted of manslaughter after jurors were told he had shaken and caused impact injuries to Kairo Hollick.

David Hollick
David Hollick David Hollick (West Midlands Police/PA)

A father who killed his six-month-old son by causing him skull fractures and brain injuries has been jailed for 15 years.

David Hollick was told he had carried out a “grotesque” breach of trust in attacking Kairo Hollick, who was shaken and subjected to at least one “severe” impact.

Hollick, 29, cried in the dock at Birmingham Crown Court before he was jailed by Mr Justice Dove on Monday.

Jurors at an earlier trial were told Hollick, who denied murder and an alternative charge of manslaughter, claimed he had tripped and fallen over while carrying Kairo.

Kairo Hollick, whose father David Hollick has been jailed for 15 years
David Hollick court case Kairo Hollick, whose father David Hollick has been jailed for 15 years (West Midlands Police/PA)

But medical experts said Kairo, who died at Birmingham Children’s Hospital on February 12 2020, had suffered injuries consistent with an assault.

Hollick, of Primley Avenue, Walsall, was found not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter in February after jurors heard how Kairo suffered at least two skull fractures and a fracture to his right arm while in the care of his father three days before he died.

Prosecutor David Mason KC told the court Kairo “had not only been shaken violently, but his head had been bashed at least twice” with a hard object.

Passing sentence, Mr Justice Dove said he was sure Kairo had met with non-accidental injuries in the early hours of February 9 2020.

He told Hollick: “The evidence of the medical experts was that these injuries were not the result of rough handling or an accident, but the consequence of severe blunt force impact.

“He was extremely vulnerable and what you did to him was a complete betrayal of your duty as a parent.

“It is perfectly clear, for example from the videos which we saw of Kairo taken shortly before his death, what a delightful baby he obviously was.”

The judge said he was sure that a single impact or multiple impacts had been inflicted on Kairo, alongside shaking.

He also told Hollick: “Kairo’s family will never know what caused you to inflict these serious injuries and kill their son and grandson.

Hollick was jailed at Birmingham Crown Court
Crown court stock Hollick was jailed at Birmingham Crown Court (Rui Vieira/PA)

“It is hard to think of a more grotesque breach of trust between a parent and their child… that a parent could assault and kill their own child.”

The trial heard Hollick’s ex-partner, Adina Johnson, dropped their son off at his home as usual on February 7 for the weekend, and while Kairo had a cold at the time, she had no other concerns about his health.

Hollick was staying in the conservatory at his parents’ home due to a lack of bedroom space after moving back in with them when his relationship with Ms Johnson ended.

In a victim impact statement read to the court before sentence was passed, Ms Johnson said: “It’s been four years since when this nightmare began.

“I still can’t comprehend the reality that Kairo has died.”

Describing Kairo as a “dream baby that seemed too good to be true”, Ms Johnson said: “He learned things so fast.”

Family events were now overshadowed entirely by the fact her family would never be whole, Ms Johnson said.

Accusing Hollick of attempting to manipulate the jury with his “false narrative of an accident” to hide his “inhumane” actions, Ms Johnson added: “Our suffering has been prolonged for years by David Hollick, who continued to deny involvement.”