‘There are no winners in this case’, says father acquitted of killing son in Kilburn
PUBLISHED: 14:29 04 August 2014 | UPDATED: 14:30 04 August 2014
A father who was wrongly accused of the manslaughter of his newborn son, 16 years after shaking the baby at their home in Kilburn, said the “devastating” prosecution “turned my world upside down”.
"I really question whether it was in the public interest to prosecute me after so long."
A tearful Allan Young, 36, questioned whether the public interest was best served in attempting to convict him after he was found not guilty of the manslaughter of Michael Winn.
Glaswegian Mr Young broke down in tears at the Old Bailey as the jury returned a verdict of not guilty following more than 24 hours of deliberation.
Mr Young had previously been jailed for 12 months after admitting causing grievous bodily harm to five-week-old Michael Winn at their home in Belsize Road, in 1998, leaving him “severely disabled” with catastrophic brain injuries that were said to have led to the child’s death in 2011, the court heard.
When Michael died, Mr Young was further charged with manslaughter following a change in the law.
Before 1996, charges of murder or manslaughter could only be brought if death occurred within a year and a day from the date of the original assault.
In Mr Young’s case, charges were brought even though there had been a 12-year gap, making it the longest on record.
Speaking outside the court, through his solicitor Jenny Wiltshire of Hickman Rose, said: “There are no winners in this case, or in relation to what happened to Michael. I had moved on with my life, with my new partner and lovely little girl.
“When Michael tragically died, I was arrested out of the blue, and once again my world was turned upside down.
“I really question whether it was in the public interest to prosecute me after so long.”
“The effect has been devastating for me and my family. But I thank the jury for the care they gave to this difficult and sensitive case.
“I know there are others who share my grief for the illness Michael suffered and his death. I hope they like me can now move on.”
The prosecution said Michael’s death was a direct result of the injuries he suffered years earlier which caused cerebral palsy and curvature of the spine.
His physical and intellectual development was impaired to such an extent that he had trouble breathing, was blind, incontinent and could not speak.
Following the assault, Michael was assessed as having only a 65 per cent chance of surviving to the age of 11, the court heard.
Mr Young had denied manslaughter and after 24 hours and 40 minutes’ deliberations, a jury of 10 people reached a verdict which found him not guilty on Friday.
At the conclusion of the trial, Mr Young simply bowed his head as the jury foreman returned a not guilty verdict, before breaking into tears.
Related links: Father cleared of killing his 12-year-old son by shaking him as a baby in Kilburn
Jury out on trial of father accused of killing his son in Kilburn
Father denies killing his 12-year-old son by shaking him as a baby in their Kilburn home
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