September 22nd, 2016

Baby’s injuries were like car crash victim

Updated: 9:42 am, May 07, 2015

A FATHER killed his premature baby by inflicting injuries consistent with her being in a car crash, a court heard.

Tyler Vallance, formerly of Engadine Road in Bromsgrove, will find out today what sentence he will receive for causing the death of his daughter Isabella. The sentencing started at Worcester Crown Court yesterday (Thursday) but was adjourned until this morning by Judge Robert Juckes QC.

Vallance pleaded guilty to GBH and manslaughter earlier this year while Isabella’s mother Jessica Wiggins, formerly of Heathfield Road in Redditch, was found guilty last month of allowing the death of her child and is also awaiting sentencing today.

Their baby was born six weeks prematurely in 2012 when Vallance was 19 and Wiggins almost 18. They were moved from Bromsgrove to Redditch as they had been living with family and it was deemed no longer suitable, however no concerns were raised by health visitors until a bruise was seen on Isabella’s left cheek.

On a number of occasions Wiggins told her friend Vallance was being violent towards her and had allegedly grabbed her around the neck once, although Vallance denied this when he was arrested.

Serious injuries were inflicted on the baby consistent with ‘severe gripping and shaking’ – as though she had been in a brief car accident. Isabella had swelling and bleeding of the brain and later she was found to have fractured bones, which would require being shaken with some force.

She was admitted to the Alexandra Hospital on December 7, 2012, after Wiggins called 999 when the baby became lifeless but died five days later – by this time both Wiggins and Vallance had been arrested.

Vallance did not admit causing Isabella’s death until the first day of his trial when he changed his plea to guilty, although he had admitted injuring her.

But his defence solicitor Abigail Nixon said Vallance did not try to cast the blame or ‘point fingers’ but simply offered no explanation as to how the baby died.

In mitigation, she said Vallance was just 19 when his baby was born and had his own issues including ADHD, becoming short-tempered and impatient when he was not taking his medication.

Wiggins’ defence solicitor Rachel Brand said it would be ‘cruel’ to give her a custodial sentence. When she rang 999 she was genuinely distraught, there were no visible injuries to Isabella and violence had happened towards the baby when her back was turned, although she did not leave Isabella alone with Vallance for more than a few minutes at a time.

Occasional violence towards her was interspersed with loving behaviour to Wiggins and their child and when arguments erupted she would take the baby to a friend’s house.

While Wiggins was a ‘loving, caring and highly competent mother’, her solicitor said Vallance could be ‘emotionally manipulative’ and would threaten to commit suicide if she left him.

Judge Juckes said it was accepted Wiggins was a caring and skilled mother but she plainly knew Vallance’s capacity for violence and it would be obvious when Isabella had become lifeless what had happened.

Visit the website later for the result.

Tyler Vallance. (s)

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