A man yesterday (Thursday October 24) started a life sentence for murder after he “violently and deliberately” shook a toddler, causing catastrophic injuries.
Darryl Elliott, of Stapleford, was convicted of the murder of 14-month-old Amelia Bowmar, after he snapped and shook her.
Mr Justice MacDuff, who sentenced him this afternoon, set the minimum to serve before he is considered for release at 15 years.
He said: “Darryl Elliott, you have been convicted, on overwhelming evidence, of the murder of Amelia Bowmar, a little girl of 14 months whose care had been entrusted to you by your partner; her mother. Your job was to look after and protect her but, instead, she died at your hands.
“It is clear to me that because you perceived her as misbehaving, or perhaps because you had to deal with her when she was sick, or just because you lost your temper at something wholly unconnected with her behaviour, you so violently and deliberately shook her as to the catastrophic injuries from which she died. Only you know exactly what went on inside that house.”
After the unanimous verdict was announced at Notttingham Crown Court, Elliott held his hands to his face and took in deep breaths, while his mother, Elizabeth Peel, had to be led out of court sobbing and hyperventilating.
Her son had been keeping his friends on Facebook up-to-date on his court case and had posted “jury out.... see ya guys if i dont come back xxx.”
His mum updated his account, where his profile picture is of a cartoon dunce: “Darryl has asked me to say thank u to all those people that supported him.he has been found guilty of murder xxx.”
Elliott lied to doctors about what happened to Amelia after she collapsed at the home he then shared with his partner, Sarah Bowmar, in Sandringham Drive, Sutton-on-Sea, Lincolnshire.
He “snapped” whilst looking after Amelia and shook her, resulting in what the consultant paediatric neuroradiologist, described as a “very, very sick, very damaged brain.”
Elliott, who has previous convictions for common assault and criminal damage, had denied murder.
He initially said Amelia must have fallen from the sofa whilst he was out of the room but later said she had slipped from his grasp and banged her head whilst being lifted from the bath.
Prosecuting barrister, Yvonne Coen QC, told the jury that Elliott claimed that on finding Amelia unconscious he had panicked and shook her five or six times.
Amelia was initially taken to hospital in Grimsby, then transferred to Sheffield Children’s Hospital, where she died.
Senior Investigating Officer, Detective Inspector Helen Evans, said: “This was a harrowing case to investigate. It is difficult to comprehend why someone would inflict such serious violence on a defenceless child but when that person is loved by the mother and the child, the abuse of trust makes the case all the more shocking.
“Elliott has consistently lied from the outset. He had 12 separate opportunities to explain to medical professionals what had happened to her, his initial account was disproved and therefore he changed his story to fit with the expert opinion of how Amelia’s injuries had occurred. The truth of what happened that afternoon has never been established.”