Man jailed for murdering Yarmouth baby Ruby Spink refused early release because of prison chaos

PUBLISHED: 12:06 29 April 2016 | UPDATED: 15:48 29 April 2016

Mitchell Childs and Ruby Spink - the 11 month old toddler who died in Great Yarmouth

Mitchell Childs and Ruby Spink - the 11 month old toddler who died in Great Yarmouth


A man jailed for murdering his girlfriend’s 11-month-old baby has lost a bid for an early chance of release after a judge heard of the havoc he has caused in prison.

Mitchell ChildsMitchell Childs

Mitchell Childs, now 25, was only 16 years old when he murdered Ruby Spink, the daughter of his then partner, in Great Yarmouth in September 2007.

Childs was convicted of murder at Norwich Crown Court and jailed for at least 12 years in August 2008.

Childs applied for a review of his case, claiming his earliest release date should be brought forward because of the progress he has made behind bars.

He said he had been in denial at the time, but had since come to terms with what he did and accepted responsibility.

Ruby Spink - the 11 month old toddler who died in Great Yarmouth.Ruby Spink - the 11 month old toddler who died in Great Yarmouth.

He has completed numerous courses in prison and planned to continue to work hard, he said.

Giving judgment, Mr Justice Nicol said the turnaround was “encouraging”, but said that there was “another side” to the story.

Between August 2009 and March 2014, he had 18 adjudications against him for disciplinary offences in prison.

They included fighting, disobedience, using abusive words, absence without permission and assaulting other prisoners.

His behaviour had been so bad that he had to be moved to another jail, said the judge in today’s ruling.

More recently, he had sworn at and been rude to a tutor, been sacked from his job in the prison and failed two drug tests, he continued.

“He has a very poor adjudication record,” said the judge.

“His progress in custody, such as it has been, is still itself a work in progress.

“I cannot say of him that he has made exceptional progress so far. It follows that I cannot recommend any reduction in his minimum term.”

The decision means Childs will have to wait until he has served the full 12 years before he can even apply for release on licence.

In 2008 Childs, who at the time was known as Mitchell Cooper, was found to have deliberately banged the tiny girl’s head on a hard surface, fracturing her skull. He lied about what happened, claiming that she had choked on a piece of cake at the Salisbury Road hostel where they lived.

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