A postman who killed his girlfriend’s toddler after becoming ‘irritated’ with him has been jailed for manslaughter.
Scott Coombe repeatedly attacked 18-month-old Andrew Cawker over the course of a year after moving into girlfriend Tamika Beaton’s flat in southeast London, where he inflicted a fatal head injury on the boy, Sky News reported.
Beaton suspected her son was being abused but chose not to intervene or seek help, police say.
Beaton, 25, suspected her son was being abused but chose not to intervene or seek help, the Metropolitan Police said.
Andrew died after he was vigorously shaken and thrown by Coombe, who had become ‘irritated’ with caring for him while Beaton was at a dance class in July 2019.
The toddler never regained consciousness after his head hit the floor and he died in hospital two weeks later.
At the Old Bailey on Friday, Coombe was jailed for nine years after admitting manslaughter, child cruelty and assaulting the toddler on three occasions.
Beaton was sentenced to 12 months suspended for 18 months after being found guilty of child cruelty.
After fatally injuring Andrew, Coombe called 999 and claimed the youngster had started ‘looking a bit stiff’ and had suffered a seizure, the court heard.
However, hospital staff raised concerns that the injuries could not have been accidental.
The 24-year-old postman was arrested on suspicion of grievous bodily harm and then further arrested on suspicion of murder after Andrew’s death.
A post-mortem examination found the child died from a head injury, while several other bruises were identified around his face and shoulder.
A pathologist concluded Coombe’s account of what happened was ‘implausible’ given the level of injuries suffered by the toddler.
During the police investigation, detectives found pictures and messages documenting Andrew’s injuries on the phones of both Coombe and Beaton.
Police said it was clear from the phone evidence that Andrew’s injuries happened while he was in the sole care of Coombe, who had entered a relationship with Beaton in July 2018.
Beaton had cheated on Andrew’s father, Ben Cawker, with Coombe after she met him at a fitness class, the court heard.
Mr Cawker became ‘very concerned’ when Beaton sent him a photo of injuries to Andrew’s ribs in April 2019, jurors were told.
However, Beaton suggested to her ex-partner that he could have caused the wounds while he was looking after their son.