Father on trial over death of son after shaking him as a baby in their Kilburn home

Allan Young admitted to shaking his infant son when he just five weeks old.

Allan Young admitted to shaking his infant son when he just five weeks old. - Credit: central news

A father who caused irreversible damage to his newborn by violently shaking him in their Kilburn home is on trial for manslaughter, following the child’s death 12 years later.

In 1998, Allan Young, then 20, manhandled Michael Winn when he was five weeks old because he would not stop crying at his former home shared by his partner Erica Francis, in Belsize Road, a court heard.

Young, now 36, was convicted of causing grievous bodily harm in 1999, following the incident which left the pre-teen suffering from spastic cerebral palsy, a curved spine, severe brain damage, blindness and unable to speak.

He admitted carrying out the act but denies manslaughter.

Michael’s twisted and deformed spine eventually caused him to stop breathing.


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He remained completely reliant on others until his death in January 2011.

When Michael died he had the mental age of a six-week-old baby, was incontinent and fed through a tube.

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Speaking at the Old Bailey, Prosecutor Zoe Johnson QC said Michael was developing normally until Young shook him.

When, Ms Francis, Michael’s mother, then 17 years old, found her baby son unwell and “floppy” in his crib later in the morning with unfocused eyes staring straight ahead according to Ms Johnson.

Ms Francis, told the court that Young, who now lives in Lanarkshire, broke down in tears and admitted shaking the five-week-old baby because he had ‘had enough’ of the crying.

She added: “He was crying and was really in a right state.

“He wanted to kill himself.”

She had allegedly contracted a cold and left Michael in the care of Young for the night while she went to sleep

“Her initial reaction was perhaps Michael had caught her flu, although he didn’t seem to have any kind of temperature,” Ms Johnson continued.

Michael was taken to the Royal Free Hospital the following day, after Ms Francis noticed her son lying lifeless in his crib, and later transferred to Great Ormond Street Hospital where he was kept for 12 days.

He was suffering from ‘shaken baby syndrome’, the court heard, and was suffering regular fits, bleeding in his eyes, and a CT scan revealed bleeding on his brain.

Ms Johnson said doctors found ‘there was insufficient blood flowing oxygen to the brain’.

Michael responded to treatment and was taken into care, eventually being adopted in March 1999.

Ms Johnson continued: “His ribs protruded on the left side, and the twisting of the spine appeared over the 18 months preceding his death.”

The trial continues.

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