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Friday, 9 March, 2001, 17:05 GMT
Jail for father who killed son
Trevor McDonald punched his son to death
McDonald said he could not remember the attack
A father who punched his five-month-old son to death and then tried to put the blame on a group of youths has been jailed for five years.


You have found it difficult to come to terms with what you did and it's clear you need long-term therapeutic care

Mr Justice Goldring
Trevor McDonald, 25, of Eastbourne Gardens, Whitley Bay, struck his crying son Connor in a "sudden loss of temper" as the two waited on a station platform.

He initially blamed three young men for the attack but, after police questioning, admitted hitting Connor, who died in hospital two days later.

McDonald pleaded guilty to manslaughter at Newcastle Crown Court last month, when he was due to stand trial for murder.

The court accepted the reduced charge and McDonald was held in remand for sentencing.

'Vulnerable person'

Passing sentence, Mr Justice Goldring heard of McDonald's disturbed upbringing and how he suffered from psychological problems.

McDonald cried and was allowed to sit as the judge passed sentence.

"It is clear that you yourself are a vulnerable person," Mr Justice Goldring told him.

"You loved your child and to strike him was out of character. You have found it difficult to come to terms with what you did and it's clear you need long-term therapeutic care."

The attack took place when McDonald was returning home with the baby last April after visiting a former foster parent.

McDonald, who was alone with the baby at the time of the attack, had no history of mistreating the child.

Connor's mother, Caroline Wood, 27, who is a spina bifida sufferer, was present for the sentencing.

In a statement issued through Northumbria Police she said McDonald was a good father, though she could "never forgive him for what he's done".

"Connor was a much-wanted baby and Trevor was at every hospital scan. He never once raised his voice in those five months, he was a very good father," the statement added.

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08 Feb 01 | UK
Father punched son to death
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