Stacey Davis, 35, left one-year-old Ethan Davis in his cot for two hours in a warm room with no windows open or fans. Davis, who, regularly smoked cannabis around her son was gone for two hours, running errands and visiting a park. Upon returning home, Davis, of Melksham, Wiltshire, went into his room and discovered him lifeless and unresponsive in his cot. The one-year-old was rushed to hospital on June 27, 2018, and pronounced dead shortly after. Davis was jailed for two years for an offence of child cruelty at Salisbury Crown Court.
A postmortem examination found a significant head injury, a 15cm skull fracture, but Ethan’s cause of death remains unascertained, the court heard.
Under questioning, Davis told police that her son had fallen out of a door and hit his head – and despite the swelling, bruising and obvious distress, she failed to take him to hospital.
Simon Jones, prosecuting told the court “any reasonable parents would have noticed the distress”.
Forensic investigator Nicola Anderson also detected that there were high levels of cannabis in Ethan’s hair. She said it was consistent with Davis smoking the drug around Ethan regularly.
Defence barrister Mark Ashley said his client’s case was a “classic example of post-natal depression”.
Ethan was born prematurely via C-section and required colon surgery immediately, resulting in a two-month stay in hospital.
“Not only suffering from that, she was coping with it in the wrong way – she was smoking cannabis,” Mr Ashley added.
Judge Parkes KC interjected, stating: “It was incredibly stupid, go outside and do it.”
Mr Ashley told the court that Davis has been working with Turning Point to cut out her cannabis use, but has smoked it this week due to her “stress levels being particularly high”.
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Sentencing, Judge Parkes described the defendant as “thoroughly selfish” and “fell seriously of the duty owed to Ethan as as his mother”.
He said: “There is no evidence you or his father caused Ethan’s death, no suggestion you did so.
”The sad fact is that you fell very seriously short of the duty owed to Ethan as his mother.
“He suffered a 15cm skull fracture one-to-three weeks before his death, likely to be from blunt impact of significant force.
”You failed to seek medical attention for the injury to his head. Any normal parent would put the child’s health before anything.
“It is clear you abandoned him on two occasions, including the day of this death. This is aggravated by the fact it happened twice. You left Ethan alone in his cot in a room with a closed window.
“What is particularly appalling about this episode is that you spent half an hour on the phone, sending and receiving messages [when you arrived home], until you went to check on Ethan. “You had not seen him, checked on him, for nearly three hours.”