Jacob Crouch: Stepfather guilty of 'vicious' baby murder – BBC

The stepfather of a 10-month-old baby who endured a "culture of cruelty" has been found guilty of his murder.
Jacob Crouch suffered at least 39 rib fractures, and died from a "vicious assault" at the hands of Craig Crouch, Derby Crown Court heard.
Jacob died "in his cot, alone" on 30 December 2020 at home near Swadlincote, Derbyshire, having suffered a "living hell".
His mother Gemma Barton has been cleared of murder.
However, she was found guilty of causing or allowing the death of a child.
The pair will be sentenced at the same court on Friday.
During the trial, prosecutors said Jacob's injuries had been caused by him being kicked or stamped on.
They said neither parent gave him the care he "needed or deserved" or sought medical attention for him.
The seven-week trial had heard Barton, 33, met Crouch, 39, while four months pregnant with Jacob and they became "very close, very quickly", calling Jacob "our little boy" after only a month.
Jacob was born healthy on 17 February 2020, with Crouch named as his father on the birth certificate.
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Jacob Crouch: Moment parents were arrested
But prosecutor Mary Prior KC said he was assaulted "causing bruising on a regular basis for at least six months" from the age of just four months, and was referred to as "the devil" in one text message.
The jury heard Jacob had suffered "repeated physical abuse" in the days before he died in Linton.
Forklift truck operator Crouch, of Donisthorpe Lane, Moira, near Swadlincote, was also convicted of three counts of child cruelty.
He had given evidence to say Jacob's injuries had nothing to do with him.
Barton, of Ray Street, Heanor, Derbyshire, was also cleared of an alternative charge of manslaughter, and two counts of child cruelty, but was found guilty of causing or allowing the death of a child and a third count of child cruelty.
She had also denied harming Jacob and, when asked by prosecutors who had caused his injuries, said: "It was not me, so that leaves Craig."
Both Crouch and Barton were asked how Jacob was injured by police and suggested he may have hurt himself.
However, experts told the court was "not remotely" possible that the injuries could have been self-inflicted.
Forensic pathologist Dr Michael Biggs gave evidence to say he would expect to see injuries such as Jacob's in car crash victims or those who had suffered a multi-storey fall.
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Jacob Crouch: Murdered baby 'born into a culture of cruelty'
After the verdict, Det Insp Paul Bullock, of the East Midlands Special Operations Regional Policing Unit, said: "Jacob Crouch was born into a culture of cruelty where both of the people he should have been able to trust above any other allowed him to be subjected to assault after assault.
"Heartbreakingly, for much of Jacob's short life he would have been in significant pain as a result of the serious and repeated assaults."
"It is clear from the evidence found on Gemma Barton and Craig Crouch's phones, through text messages, videos and audio recordings, that they were equally responsible for the culture of cruelty inflicted on baby Jacob.
"As a father I cannot comprehend what happened behind closed doors and my thought remain with Jacob's wider family who have been left devastated by his death.
"I hope today's verdict brings with it a degree of closure for them and begins the process of them being able to grieve for Jacob and remember the happier times with a much-loved child."
Following the case, a spokesperson for the Derby and Derbyshire Safeguarding Children Partnership (DDSCP) said: "We extend our sympathies to all those affected by the tragic death of Jacob."
The spokesperson said agencies had supported police in reviewing the circumstances of Jacob's death and that policy and training changes had already been made to create new "Keeping Babies Safe" guidance.
The DDSCP said there were no plans to publish the findings of the review.
The spokesperson added: "The DDSCP is required to share the review report with the National Safeguarding Review Panel who agreed with the decision of the partnership not to initiate a local child safeguarding practice review into this case."
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