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Father sentenced to nine years after force feeding his three-year-old son to death

The court heard that the father would mix together cereal and bread with milk and then place his son upon his lap and force him to drink the mixture.

Image: Shutterstock/wavebreakmedia

A 32-YEAR-OLD man has been jailed for nine years after being convicted of manslaughter and child neglect in relation to the death of his three-year-old son.

The father from north-west London was sentenced today at the Old Bailey. He was found guilty of the two counts following a majority verdict yesterday.

He was sentenced to nine years’ imprisonment for manslaughter and five years’ imprisonment for child neglect – with both sentences to run concurrently.

Police were initially called out to the suburban property in north-west London on 27 November last year to reports of an unresponsive child.

The three-year-old boy was taken to a north London hospital where he was pronounced dead at around 6:30pm. His father was subsequently arrested.

A post-mortem examination subsequently found ‘aspiration of stomach contents’ to be the cause of death of the child.

The professor who carried out the post-mortem subsequently stated that the child’s lungs were extremely blocked with food, and suggested some of this might be historical, pre-dating the events of the 27 November.

The father appeared in court charged with one count of manslaughter and one count of child cruelty in April.

‘The little boy would kick and struggle’

During the course of the trial, the court heard that the child was regularly ‘force-fed’ by his father even though there was no medical reason preventing him from feeding himself.

Witnesses who knew the child testified they had seen him choosing and eating food independently without any problems.

The court also heard that sometimes the little boy would kick and struggle whilst being placed in a prone ‘feeding’ position by his father and that feeding him in this manner resulted in food going into his nose and eyes, and even led to him vomiting afterwards.

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The court heard that the father would mix together food such as cereal and bread with milk and then place his son upon his lap and force him to drink the mixture.

The child was not found to have any pre-existing medical conditions or eating disorders that would have contributed towards his final, fatal collapse.

Detective Chief Inspector Andy Partridge, from the Homicide and Major Crime Command, who led the investigation, said:

The circumstances of this case are unusual, distressing and thankfully extremely rare.

“The ‘force-feeding’ of this young child was unnecessary and directly led to his death. The child was capable of feeding himself and did not have any issues that in any way warranted him being fed by his father in the manner described in court.”

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