UK & World News
Alfie Sullock: Baby Killer Gets Nine Years
A man who killed his girlfriend's six-week-old baby by battering him with a shoe and a plastic bottle has been jailed for nine years.
Magistrate's son Michael John Pearce was looking after Alfie Sullock while the boy's mother Donna enjoyed her first night out since giving birth.
"Obsessive" Pearce texted his girlfriend while she was out, telling her Alfie was doing well and that he could be trusted - but he later tried to blame her for the child's death.
Alfie was admitted to hospital with severe bleeding to the brain and bruising to his face and abdomen but died after four days.
A jury cleared Pearce, from Caerphilly, South Wales, of murder but found him guilty of manslaughter.
The killer had denied all wrongdoing throughout his three-week trial at Newport Crown Court.
Judge Mr Justice Baker disputed his defence team's claim that he had a "momentary loss of control", suggesting Pearce may have been motivated by jealousy after Ms Sullock said she was not ready to have a child with him.
He said: "This was not a momentary loss of control by a sleep-deprived parent. Alfie was only in your care for a short time."
"It may well be that, due to your denials... whether you were motivated by jealousy as a result of Donna's refusal to have your child earlier that evening."
During the course of Pearce's trial, prosecutors said the defendant showed "obsessive" behaviour towards Ms Sullock - and had showered her with gifts just a few weeks into their relationship.
He suggested the former holiday rep go for a night out on August 16 last year so she could get to know more people in his area.
Ms Sullock said that, when she left the house for her night out, Alfie was "happy and healthy" and did not have "as much as a scratch" on him.
While babysitting Alfie, Pearce sent Ms Sullock a text saying: "You can trust me you know".
But at 9.11pm he dialled 999, after claiming he had gone to the toilet and returned to see Alfie had stopped breathing.
When paramedics arrived moments later, they found the baby lifeless and blue.
As the nine-year sentence was handed down, a cry of "disgraceful" was heard from the public gallery.
A jury on Tuesday cleared Pearce of murder but convicted him of manslaughter.
Shortly after the verdict was handed down, Ms Sullock said she had been through "a year of absolute hell".
She told reporters: "Whatever sentence he will get, it will never be long enough for taking Alfie's life away."
Pearce could be released from prison on licence after serving half of his sentence.