Bristol baby killer’s ‘unduly lenient’ life sentence could be extended by Court of Appeal

James Dean Clark, 31, from Warmley, was convicted of murdering his son, Sean Clark
James Dean Clark murdered his son SeanJames Dean Clark murdered his son Sean
James Dean Clark murdered his son Sean

The jail term given to a Bristol father who murdered his newborn son could be extended after being deemed ‘unduly lenient’, BristolWorld can reveal today (October 28).

The Attorney General has referred James Dean Clark’s life sentence, with a minimum term of 15 years in prison, to the Court of Appeal.

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Clark, 31, from Warmley, was jailed for the murder of Sean Clark - who was just 39 days old when he died - at Bristol Crown Court in September.

The baby was tragically pronounced dead after being found unresponsive in his cot by his mother, in January 2018.

A post-mortem examination found Sean had suffered 74 fractures to his ribs along with two serious head injuries.

A jury at the trial at Bristol Crown Court heard how the baby had been shaken violently shortly before his death.

James Dean Clark was given a life sentence with a minimum term of 15 years in prisonJames Dean Clark was given a life sentence with a minimum term of 15 years in prison
James Dean Clark was given a life sentence with a minimum term of 15 years in prison
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Clark was convicted of murder by the jury after denying the charge and was given a life sentence, with a minimum term of 15 years in prison.

Today (October 28), it has emerged that his sentence is to be reviewed.

In a statement to BristolWorld, a spokesperson for the Attorney General’s Office said: “The Solicitor General was saddened by this terrible crime.

Sean Clark was found unresponsive in his cotSean Clark was found unresponsive in his cot
Sean Clark was found unresponsive in his cot

“I can confirm that the Solicitor General has referred James Clark’s sentence to the Court of Appeal as he agrees that it is unduly lenient.

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“It is now for the court to decide whether to increase the sentence.”

When sentencing Clark, Mr Justice Butcher said the baby had died from a brain injury caused by being very roughly handled or shaken.

Avon and Somerset Police’s investigating officer, Det Supt James Riccio, described the case as “extremely harrowing and complex”.

Sean Clark had suffered more than 70 fractures to his ribs along with two series head injuriesSean Clark had suffered more than 70 fractures to his ribs along with two series head injuries
Sean Clark had suffered more than 70 fractures to his ribs along with two series head injuries

After sentencing, he said: “Our hearts go out to all those members of Sean’s family who have been impacted by his tragic death.

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“James Clark showed a complete lack of remorse during the investigation and his subsequent trial.

“It’s impossible to comprehend how a father could inflict these horrific injuries on a child he was supposed to love and protect.”

And Ann Hampshire, from the Crown Prosecution Service, said: “Cases involving the death of a child are distressing for everyone involved. “

Under the unduly lenient sentence scheme, members of the public can ask the Attorney General to examine cases given by crown courts.

The case will go before the Court of Appeal on November 19.

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