Father who killed his 39-day-old son has life prison sentence extended

‘It’s hard to put into words how devastating the loss of a child is’

<p>James Dean Clark murdered his son Sean</p>

James Dean Clark murdered his son Sean

The jail term for a father who murdered his newborn son has been extended.

James Dean Clark, 31, from Warmley, had been given a life sentence with a minimum 15 years for the murder of Sean Clark - who was just 39 days old when he died - at Bristol Crown Court in September.

But after the case was deemed unduly lenient by the office of the Attorney General, a hearing took place at the Court of Appeal on Friday, where the sentence was extended to a minimum 18 years.

The Solicitor General, Alex Chalk QC MP, part of the Attorney’s office, said: “This was a deeply upsetting and disturbing case, involving an extremely vulnerable victim.

“Clarke grossly abused his position of trust and his actions stole the life of an innocent child he should have been protecting.

“It is only right the sentence has been increased to reflect the severity of the crime.”

Sean Clark was found unresponsive in his cot

Baby Sean 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 - inflicted on at least three separate occasions.

The injuries were consistent with the baby having been shaken violently shortly before his death.

Clark was convicted of murder by the jury after denying the charge.

After the extension to Clark’s sentence on Friday, Detective Supt James Riccio, the senior investigating officer for Avon and Somerset Police, said: “This increase in sentence better reflects the gravity of the heinous crime this man committed against his own 39-day-old son.

James Dean Clark was given a life sentence with a minimum term of 15 years in prison

“It’s hard to put into words how devastating the loss of a child is, especially when it’s as a result of such a cold and callous act.

“Our thoughts are very much with all those who loved Sean and I hope they feel a greater sense of justice now the sentence against his murderer has been increased.”