Father jailed for killing baby daughter

Glasgow High Court
Glasgow High Court
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A father who killed his three-month-old daughter when she would not stop crying has been jailed for six and a half years.

Traherne Williams hurled Sophia Williams on to a sofa causing catastrophic brain damage.

A judge heard how Williams had become “absolutely frustrated” that the baby would not take her feed.

The 23-year-old later lied to a doctor Sophia had fallen at a family centre they had been staying at in Broxburn, West Lothian.

Sophia never recovered and died in hospital in June 2016.

Williams yesterday returned to the High Court in Glasgow having earlier pled guilty to a culpable homicide charge.

His QC told how the killer plans to help “inexperienced 
adults” struggling to cope with life when he is freed from jail.

Lord Matthews told Williams parenthood was an “enormous privilege” and that a “babe in arms” is a “delicate creature”.

He went on: “You became frustrated and threw the defenceless child – your own flesh and blood – on to a sofa. This was before she had any chance to engage in the gift of life.”

Williams smiled at his 20-year-old partner Shannon Main as he was led to the cells.

The pair originally faced a murder allegation. Williams instead admitted to the reduced charge while Main’s not guilty plea was accepted.

A hearing last month was told she is standing by the man who killed their child.

The court heard yesterday how social work were involved with the family from when Sophia was just two weeks old because of “concerns” about “parenting abilities”.

They ended up at the Strathbrock Family Unit in Broxburn, West Lothian. The centre is a homeless unit – the couple were staying there while waiting for their own tenancy.

On 28 May – two days before the fatal attack – an ill Sophia was taken to hospital. It was suspected she had a virus, but was deemed well enough to go home. On 30 May, the pair were at the unit with Sophia when Main tried to feed her. But she was found to be “less responsive than usual”.

Her parents were later not able to rouse her. Main then contacted St John’s Hospital in Livingston. A consultant believed Sophia’s brain injury was “highly suspicious of non accidental injury”