Evil dad, 30, jailed for life for shaking his four-month-old son to death had Googled 'why is my baby's tongue blue?'

AN EVIL dad who shook his angelic baby boy to death has been caged for 22 years.

Bricklayer Daniel McLaren, 30, left four-month-old son Jack with catastrophic brain injuries after shaking him violently.

He was convicted of murder and causing grievous bodily harm with intent to another child.

He was sentenced today at Reading Crown Court to life in prison with a minimum term of 22 years.

The court heard Jack had been left with him when his mum had gone out for a family meal on June 2 last year.

McLaren called 999 and told an operator his son had "chocked on his bottle and gone all funny".

Sally Howes, prosecuting, said Jack was "pale, floppy and had white fluid coming from his nostrils and mouth" when paramedics arrived at McLaren's home.

Jack was rushed to hospital where he died two days later.

A post-mortem found serious brain damage and evidence of historic injuries. McLaren was later charged with murder.

During the subsequent Thames Valley Police investigation, a number of internet searches were made on McLaren’s mobile phone including “serious symptoms in babies never to ignore”, “why is my babies tongue blue?” and “choking/turning blue.”

No defence was offered on behalf of McLaren, who had admitted manslaughter and a charge of causing grievous bodily harm, and he did not give evidence.

Jurors, who heard McLaren had also shaken Jack three weeks before his death, took 65 minutes to return their verdicts following the two-week trial.

Jailing him, Mr Justice Nicol said: "Jack had his whole life ahead of him.

"Like all children, they cry from time to time. Any parent will have had experience coping with the difficulty of children who are upset. But these are problems to which parents must rise. What you did was inexcusable.

"Every parent knows that a baby's head must be cradled carefully. You however did the exact opposite. You shook Jack, which would have flung his head back and forth and side to side, that in turn caused a catastrophic injury to his brain.

"A further serious aggravating circumstance is that Jack suffered not just one but two incidents of brain injury.”

He added: "This is a particularly serious feature of the offence. You had discovered what serious consequences could follow if a baby of Jack's age was shaken and yet you did it again."

The court heard McLaren had 21 previous convictions for 33 offences, including 10 convictions of battery, one of causing grievous bodily harm and one of wounding.

John Price, defending, said McLaren's actions were of a "loss of temper and not a wilful desire to harm and to hurt".

Detective superintendent Nick John, said: “Daniel was a parent to Jack and yet he abused this privileged position to kill his son.



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"He should have been someone who Jack could rely upon to care for him with unconditional love, but instead he used physical force against a defenceless baby.

“By shaking four-and-a-half-month-old Jack, he caused him injuries on two occasions which the little boy was ultimately unable to survive."

In addition to his life sentence he was given a concurrent sentence of seven-and-a-half years' imprisonment for causing grievous bodily harm with intent against another child who cannot be named for legal reasons.

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