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Grandad who killed child by shaking him for six seconds imprisoned for homicide

Wayne William Downing, 48, was looking after his three-month-old grandson Noah when the baby woke up and began crying, frustrating the “excessively tired” Perth man

An Australian man has been imprisoned for shaking his grandson to death.

Wayne William Downing, 48, was taking care of three-month-old Noah at a home in Perth in May 2016.

Downing told police he had been sleeping on the sofa when Noah woke up in his room and started crying. Disappointed and tired, he says he gave the infant “only a little shake”.

I could see his head moving from side to side and in reverse and advances,” he said at that point.

“When I put him down I understood what I’d done… I was simply attempting to head out to rest and to get some rest.”

Baby Noah was just three months old when he was shaken to death

He shook Noah for somewhere in the range of four and six seconds, causing traumatic injuries to his brain and spine.

At the point when Noah’s mum returned home she found the child’s body cold and blue.

Downing only confessed to shaking him in the wake of being met by police a subsequent time, the Supreme Court of Western Australia heard.

The court heard the grandfather was “excessively tired” and suffering from severe depression and anxiety at the time.

Justice Anthony Derrick accepted that Downing loved his grandson and hadn’t intended to hurt or kill him.

Downing was suffering from anxiety and depression at the time of the incident

“You shook Noah out of frustration, and in the irrational and forlorn hope that doing so would make him be quiet and fall asleep,” he said.

“Further, there is no suggestion that you had ever previously subjected Noah to any form of abuse or ill treatment.”

However he noted Downing hadn’t tried to seek medical assistance after realising the baby was hurt.

“I recognise that even if you had made a more immediate attempt to seek assistance for Noah, this may not have any difference to the outcome for him, given the extent of his injuries,” he said.

“However, you could not have known this and the right thing to do would have been to immediately seek help.”

At first accused of homicide, Downing confessed to murder and was condemned to seven years in jail.

He should serve in any event five and a half before he can be qualified for parole.

Downing was supported by some of his relatives in court, including Noah’s mum.

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