A father who murdered his nine-week-old baby by shaking him in a fit of rage at bath time has been jailed for life.
Leon Mathias will serve a minimum of 16 years in jail after being found guilty of killing his son Hunter.
At sentencing, Mrs Justice Lambert called the 34-year-old’s behavior “nothing short of grotesque”, reports Yorkshire Live.
During the hearing today, Sheffield Crown Court heard how Mathias had returned home after a “hard day at work” on November 30, 2018.
His home on Stonegate Lane in Barnsley was full of people and, after briefly socialising, he took baby Hunter upstairs for a bath.
While in the bath, Hunter relieved himself.
“In your frustration and irritation you shook him,” Mrs Justice Lambert said, adding that Mathias knew shaking a baby could be lethal.
The damage Hunter suffered from being shaken meant he stopped breathing and lost consciousness.
The court heard, during Mathias’s 13-week trial, how Hunter’s brain swelled so significantly that doctors at Barnsley District General Hospital and Sheffield Children’s Hospital were unable to save him. He died on December 3, 2018.
Hunter suffered bleeding to his brain and behind his eyes, as well as a number of fractures.
He also had a few areas of bruising that Mathias never provided any explanation for, the court heard.
At the hospital, Mathias did not tell the staff what had happened, and the hearing heard he told his partner to “shut up” when she told a nurse Hunter had been smiling that morning.
“Instead of trying to save your son by telling staff what had happened you chose to stay quiet,” Mrs Justice Lambert said. “Your focus remained on your predicament and not Hunter’s.”
Mitigating, Mr Griffiths said that Mathias’s intention to cause serious harm was only momentary with no pre-meditation, and that he was of previous good character, with a previously “loving relationship” towards Hunter and his partner.
As she delivered the sentence, the judge said: “We must all live with the consequences of our actions. You have expressed no remorse throughout this process.”
She added that Mathias snapped for “no good reason other than that you had had a hard day at work” and that Hunter “should have been safe in your arms”.
Mathias was not charged with Hunter’s murder until February 2021.
He had first been arrested in December 2018, and then bailed, before being rearrested in October 2019. He provided no comment at an interview with South Yorkshire Police.