Great Yarmouth father jailed for six years after being found guilty of manslaughter of son

Kevin Toye. Picture: Norfolk Constabulary

Kevin Toye. Picture: Norfolk Constabulary - Credit: Archant

A father has today been jailed for six years after being convicted of the manslaughter of his son who died from complications six years after he was shaken as a baby.

Kevin Toye at Norwich Crown Court who has been charged with the manslaughter of his son Baylee Varle

Kevin Toye at Norwich Crown Court who has been charged with the manslaughter of his son Baylee Varley. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016

Baylee Varley was less than a month old when he sustained injuries in February 2008, which included brain damage, rib fractures and sight loss.

His father, Kevin Toye, 29, of St Nicholas Road, Great Yarmouth, had denied manslaughter but was today sentenced to six years after he was found guilty.

A jury at Norwich Crown Court took just over six hours to find him guilty of the offence following a 16-day trial.

Sentencing Toye Mr Justice Spencer described it as a 'tragic' case involving a 'devoted' father who had 'destroyed' the life of a 'helpless' baby by his actions adding: 'You must bear responsibility. It is clear that none of the catastrophic injuries which Baylee suffered happened at birth.

'To cause those injuries you need not have shaken Baylee for more than a few seconds. You must have done it in frustration or temper. I have no doubt that you instantly regretted what you'd done.

'Only you know the truth of what happened that night.

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'Your culpability, in my opinion, remains high. You destroyed his quality of life. His disability must have been a daily reminder.'

Members of Toye's family sobbed as the sentence was announced and shouted 'we love you Kev' as he was led down.

Defence barrister Simon Spence QC, said his client was and remained a 'loving and caring parent' to Baylee throughout his life and demonstrated that 'even after this incident'.

He said: 'Your Lordship us dealing with a single incident over a six year period which can only have lasted for a matter of seconds at most.'

Mr Spence QC said Toye had sole care of Baylee on many occasions prior to February 23, 2008 due to the discomfort experienced by his partner after a 'difficult birth'.

He said Toye had been 'looking forward' to his child as a previous attempt to have a child resulted in a miscarriage.

At the time of the incident he said Toye was only 21 and has been on medication for depression since.

He said the 'day to day reality' of looking at what had happened to Baylee must have been 'extremely distressing'.

'Not only does he have to live for the rest of his life with the consequences of what the jury found he did but he was witnessing that on a daily basis.'

Baylee was taken to the out of hours surgery in Yarmouth on the morning of February 23, 2008 but taken to the James Paget Hospitalby ambulance because of the nature of his injuries.

He was later transferred to Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge, underwent various scans which revealed the true extent of his injuries, including swelling and bleeding to the brain and haemorrhaged retinas.

After being released from hospital Baylee was cared for by his grandparents in Ormesby, near Yarmouth, where he stayed until his death in 2014.

A post mortem examination indicated the cause of death was long term complications with a head injury suffered by Baylee in February 2008.

Following Baylee's death in 2014, a Home Office post-mortem examination was carried out giving the cause of death as 'bronchopneumonia as a consequence of long-term complications of head injury'. In light of his death, detectives from the joint Norfolk and Suffolk Major Investigation Team (MIT) were able to reopen the investigation resulting in the eventual charge of Toye.

Detective Constable Mike Proctor, of the joint MIT, said: 'This has been an extremely tragic investigation from the very beginning, an investigation which has spanned several years and resulted in the eventual conviction of a father for the death of his own son.

'Baylee's early death was sadly inevitable given the extent of the catastrophic injuries he suffered when only a few weeks old. Our intention throughout this investigation has been to give Baylee a voice and to seek appropriate justice for him as today's sentence reflects.'

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