A mom who had covered up for her boyfriend after he killed their baby boy today, sobbed as she was spared jail by a judge who accepted she suffered from “battered women’s syndrome”.
25-year-old Chantelle Flynn, had agreed to cover up for Craig Dawick after he fatally beat their eight-month-old Leyton Flynn for crying too much.
The 25-year-old broke down in the dock as she was handed a two-year suspended jail sentence after being found guilty of causing or allowing Leyton’s death and attempting to pervert the course of justice at trial.
Manchester Crown Court had heard the mother claimed her son had started to sweat and made funny noises while she was cuddling him on the sofa.
She also claimed that Dawick was a “brilliant father”.
But little Leyton was rushed to Royal Oldham Hospital, found to have suffered ”catastrophic brain injury’‘ plus fractures to his legs and arms and bruises to his head and body – tragically dying two days later.
The court heard Dawick, who was found guilty of murder and sentenced to life in prison, had “snapped” at their Rochdale home, and deliberately inflicted baby Leyton’s horrific injuries because the crying child, who was teething, made him angry.
One expert in trauma injuries said they were among the worst he had ever seen in more than 300 child injury cases and normally associated with high-speed car crashes.
The court heard Dawick was a violent man and a risk to her child but instead Flynn covered up for him, even lying to medics about what happened as they battled to save Leyton’s life in hospital.
Flynn had gone out and left Dawick alone with the child at 8.33am on September 6 last year, even though he had been violent to her in the past and she knew about his temper and the “significant risk” he posed.
Judge Mr Justice John Royce branded Dawick the ”real villain”, saying that the mother had been “especially vulnerable”, adding: “It is a concern that you suffered from battered woman syndrome.
“The report concluded you had extremely low self esteem and your low self esteem keeps women in a perpetuating cycle of violence. You were more susceptible to being controlled and bullied by Craig Dawick.
“I have no shadow of a doubt about you being dominated controlled and intimidated by Dawick and you had the feeling that somehow his abuse of you was your fault when it was certainly not.
“Your deceit lasted hours not days or months and the real burden in this tragedy was Dawick. You were completely under his sway.”
Prosecutor Neil Usher said: ”She knew her partner was a violent man, as she herself had recently been the victim of his violence.
“Dawick is an aggressive, sometimes violent man who is quick to lose his temper. ‘
“Telephone evidence strongly suggests a pattern in the months leading up to September of the two of them either splitting up, or coming very close to it, largely because of the poor behaviour of Dawick, only for Flynn to almost immediately forgive him and be desperate for him to return to her.”