Baby Slater Killed in a 'Momentary Loss of Control by a Stressed Carer' Death Was 'Final Incident in Period of Episodes of Abuse in 24 Hours'

Article excerpt

Byline: Kerry Wood ? 0191 201 6040 ? kerry.wood@ncjmedia.co.uk

AFACTORY worker from County Durham who shook his girlfriend's poorly baby son to death while she went shopping has been jailed for seven-and-a-half years.

Described as a man of former good character and a "loving father" to his own children, Richard Morgan, 33, has been jailed for the manslaughter of 13-month-old Slater Sharkey in December 2010.

The former naval recruit had only been living with Slater's mother Rachel Peacock for two months before fatally losing control of his temper.

Throughout the court case at Newcastle Crown Court, Morgan continually maintained he hadn't killed the youngster, claiming he'd returned from the toilet to find him lifeless.

But during the five-week trial, it emerged Slater had bruises on his body caused 18 hours before his death.

A post-mortem revealed the fatal injury was caused by Slater's head being violently struck against something. Mr Justice King told a hearing yesterday: "The main head injury was caused by a momentary loss of control by a stressed carer.

"Your infliction of fatal violence on Slater was the final incident in a period of episodes of abuse at your hands over the 24 hours while he was in your care."

Peacock had left Slater - who was conceived after IVF treatment with former partner Carl Sharkey - with Morgan when she went to the shops in December 2010.

Returning home minutes later, she found Morgan stood on the doorstep holding her lifeless baby in his arms. …