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Last Updated: Friday, 3 February 2006, 17:08 GMT
'Jealous' father killed baby son
A father has been found guilty of killing his three-month-old son.

Stephen Levey, 25, of Hemel Hempstead, Herts, who smothered baby Ethan in September 2003, was cleared of murder but convicted of manslaughter.

On Friday, the jury at St Albans Crown Court also convicted Levey of trying to choke Ethan and one charge of causing grievous bodily harm.

Levey, whose legal team said he was likely to appeal, was remanded in custody for pre-sentence reports.

Bleeding in the eyes

Stuart Trimmer, prosecuting, said Levey and Ethan's mother, Tania Van Straten, also of Hemel Hempstead, had both been addicted to Class A drugs.

At the time Miss Van Straten, who worked as a credit controller, was having some success coming off drugs. Levey, who was attending a course on fork lift truck driving, was finding it hard.

He said Levey was jealous of Miss Van Straten's relationship with her former boyfriend. There was even some doubt as to whether Levey was Ethan's father.

In the four to five weeks before his death, Ethan suffered injuries. On 15 September he had bleeding in the eyes, a "torrential" nose bleed and was later to have shown signs of bleeding in the lungs - injuries consistent with an attempt to choke or smother him and the defendant was responsible, Mr Trimmer said.

Between 25 August and 20 September Ethan suffered a leg fracture. "Twisting and pulling force is required to produce those injuries," he said.

Levey was cleared of a second charge of causing grievious bodily harm.

Father smothered baby, court told
16 Jan 06 |  Beds/Bucks/Herts

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