Search

Father on trial for killing son, 12, by shaking him when five-week-old baby in South Hampstead

15:58 02 July 2014

Allan Young outside the Old Bailey. He is accused of killing his 12-year-old son by shaking him when he was a baby.

Allan Young outside the Old Bailey. He is accused of killing his 12-year-old son by shaking him when he was a baby.

Archant

A father who caused “catastrophic brain injuries” to his newborn baby has gone on trial for manslaughter following the child’s death 12 years later.

In 1998, Allan Young shook five-week-old Michael Winn at the home he shared with his girlfriend in South Hampstead, leaving his son severely disabled with only a 65 per cent chance of surviving to the age of 11, a court heard.

The following year, Young, now 36, admitted causing grievous bodily harm but when the child died in 2011, he was further charged with manslaughter.

Michael’s death was a direct result of the injuries he suffered years earlier which caused cerebral palsy and curvature of the spine, the Old Bailey heard today (Wednesday).

His physical and intellectual development was impaired to such an extent he had trouble breathing, was blind, incontinent and could not speak, jurors were told.

At the time of his death, his adoptive mother described him as having the functioning age of six weeks, the court heard.

Prosecutor Zoey Johnson QC told jurors that Young did not mean to cause his son really serious harm but the evidence would show he was nevertheless responsible for Michael’s death.

Young was living with his partner Erica Francis in Belsize Road when he shook their newborn baby on the morning of April 16 1998, the court heard.

When Ms Francis, then 17, woke up later that day, she noticed Michael had become “all floppy” and had “staring eyes that did not focus”, Ms Johnson said.

At first she thought Michael had caught flu from her, but the next day he was still sick.

The lawyer said: “Erica described seeing Michael lying in his crib awake but lifeless. When she picked him up, he just slumped in her arms.”

She decided to call the health visitor, but before she could, Young admitted he “may have hurt Michael” and shaken him because he would not stop crying, the court heard.

When the baby arrived at the Royal Free Hospital in Pond Street, Hampstead, he was “pale and fitting”.

A CT scan revealed he had suffered bleeding on his brain and he was diagnosed with “shaken baby syndrome”, the prosecution said.

He was eventually discharged from hospital in May 1998 into the care of Camden social services, which placed him with foster parents before he was adopted.

Meanwhile, both parents were arrested and Young was charged with inflicting grievous bodily harm.

At the time, Ms Johnson said: “Michael was still very much alive although severely disabled and, following the assault by this defendant, Michael was left with severe brain damage.”

On January 11 2011, his adoptive mother Karen Heppleston-Winn noticed Michael’s breathing had stopped and despite the efforts of medics, he died in the night on January 23 2011 at the age of 12.

A post-mortem examination found he died of “respiratory insufficiency caused by pneumonia and the marked curvature of the spine” as a result of the injuries Michael suffered as a very young infant, Ms Johnson said.

She added: “There was a cause and effect role between the head injury sustained while Michael was a baby and his death at the age of 12.”

There was no evidence of a natural disease which could account for the injuries and no evidence of any recent brain damage.

Young was arrested in Scotland in March 2011 and told police in interview that he had “accidentally shaken” Michael for mere seconds after he had been up all night.

At the time, he said he and Ms Francis had been having problems in their relationship and they were trying to sort things out, the jury was told.

Ms Johnson told the jury: “Up until April 16 1998, we suggest that Michael was developing normally but at 11am in the morning of April 16, when Erica Francis picked Michael up from his crib, it was obvious that Michael was very unwell and the evidence suggests that by this time Michael had already suffered the injury to the brain that caused his cerebral palsy and eventually his death.

“This defendant has admitted shaking Michael earlier that morning. Whether the defendant has admitted all he did to his son is a matter you will have to consider.”

Young, of Glasgow Road, Wishaw, in north Lanarkshire in Scotland, denies manslaughter.

The trial continues.

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

Saturday, July 23, 2016
Tracey Palmer, Macmillan information and support manager at The Whittington Hospital, and Angel Bellot, the hospital's PALS and complaints manager (Picture: Eve Harris)

Two brave Whittington workers will swap the wards for the sky (and then, hopefully, the ground) when they jump out of a plane for charity this weekend.

Saturday, July 23, 2016
Members of Power up North London, Ian Grant,Nikki Brain,Vijay Bhopal & Ben Pearce,pictured at St Anne's Church Highgate where they have been given permission to install Solar Panels on the roof. Photo: Nigel Sutton

A Grade II-listed church in Highgate will open up to rays of light above, after a community group won planning permission for solar panels to be installed on the slope of its roof

Friday, July 22, 2016
A family enjoys fun in the sun. Picture: John Macdonald-Fulton

School’s out for summer – great for children, but for parents, it can be a challenge to find enough activities to keep youngsters entertained over the six-week break.

Friday, July 22, 2016
Neelu Berry arrives at Highbury Corner Magistrates Court 07.10.15.

Two campaigners accused of spreading discredited claims of a Satanic paedophile ring have been told they must stay away from a vicar and his parishioners.

Friday, July 22, 2016
Omar Bartocci, 13,  has been missing since Wednesday

Members of a Haringey rugby club have appealed for help finding a junior player who has gone missing.

Friday, July 22, 2016
Elizabeth Dennis, Daisy Cripps 16, Amy Haysome 13, Millie Chapple 14, Poppy Kilbey 12, coach Becky Smith, Lindsey Wylie, and actress Michelle Collins ahead of this weekend's world record attempt

A Highgate charity is calling on the community’s help to dance its way into the record books.

Friday, July 22, 2016
Kato Harris, who has been charged with three counts of rape

A teacher today told a jury that a 15-year-old schoolgirl who accused him of raping her in a classroom at her Camden school held a grugde against him after he commented on her “silly face” in a school photograph.

Friday, July 22, 2016
Zack Newman and supporters with a petition demanding that Nigel Farage be prosecuted, at Kentish Town Police Station on 20.07.16.

A petition was handed in at Kentish Town police station yesterday calling for the arrest of UKIP leader Nigel Farage for ‘inciting racial hatred’ during the EU referendum campaign.

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

Which book character do you share cleaning habits with?

Whether you have more in common with put-upon Cinderella, emotionally turbulent Jane Eyre, or easily distracted Mole, you’re sure to appreciate four sessions of free cleaning. Enter our quiz for your chance to win. All entrants can get £10 off their first clean when making a repeat booking.

£15k prize bundle

Imagine having the opportunity to win an incredible £15,000 bundle of some of the most amazing prizes available. Well, for one lucky contest entrant that dream could soon become a reality because we at MyOffers are offering an incredible free prize bundle that will make even the most hardened person wild with excitement.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now