Man admits shaking baby son to death in fit of anger

David Sinclair was originally charged with murder. Picture: Hemedia
David Sinclair was originally charged with murder. Picture: Hemedia
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A man has admitted killing his four-month-old baby son by shaking him in a fit of anger.

David Sinclair, 34, a supermarket worker, pleaded guilty to the culpable homicide of his son Joshua at their home in East Kilbride, on 6 December, 2012.

He was originally charged with murder, but admitted the reduced charge of killing his son, just days before he was due to go on trial at the High Court in Glasgow.

Sinclair married his wife Kirsty on the anniversary of their son’s first birthday on July 9, 2013, and the court was told that she is standing by him.

The court was told that four days before the birth of his son, Sinclair went to his GP stating he felt depressed and was prescribed an anti-depressant.

Prosecutor Ashley Edwards said that on 6 December, 2012, Sinclair and his now wife and their baby Joshua went swimming and then shopping in East Kilbride.

At 5.30pm Kirsty Sinclair went out to meet her mother and sister.

Just 11 minutes later she received a phone call from Sinclair, saying “Joshua isn’t breathing properly, come home right away”.

He was given instructions about delivering CPR, but when a paramedic arrived he noted that he was either sitting on a chair or standing.

Joshua was rushed to Hairmyres Hospital in East Kilbride and medical staff battled for almost an hour to save him.

He was pronounced dead at 6.55pm.

During the resuscitation efforts Dr Andrew Palombo asked what had happened. Sinclair stated that Joshua had been sitting next to him on the sofa. He said the child turned blue and stopped breathing and he dialled 999.

Miss Edwards said: “In each statement the accused has given slightly different information.”

Initially the cause of Joshua’s death was unascertained, but the case was reviewed by a team of medical experts and discovered evidence of trauma in the eyes and brain which could only have been caused non-accidentally close to the time of death.

Judge Lord Bannatyne deferred sentence on Sinclair, who has previous convictions for assault, until next month for background reports.

Sinclair’s wife , who is pregnant, was not in court to hear the details of her son’s death.