Tragic baby's mum: Justice has been done

A TEENAGE mother said that justice had been done after her former partner was convicted of killing their baby son.Zoe O'Leary was speaking publicly for the first time since James Tuffs, 21, was found guilty of the manslaughter of their four-month-old twin, Byron.

By John Howard

A TEENAGE mother said that justice had been done after her former partner was convicted of killing their baby son.

Zoe O'Leary was speaking publicly for the first time since James Tuffs, 21, was found guilty of the manslaughter of their four-month-old twin, Byron.

Tuffs, of Forest Road, Onehouse, near Stowmarket, was told to expect a jail sentence after being convicted of killing his son in January last year.


You may also want to watch:


Miss O'Leary, 18, and her family yesterday issued a statement through her solicitors, Whatley Lane BDH of Newmarket.

“These proceedings have been a difficult and traumatic time for us all; not only because we have lost one member of the family who will be missed by all, but also due to the actual trial itself that has placed a great deal of strain upon us all who have had to go though the last 18 months waiting for the outcome,” she said.

Most Read

“We would all like to thank the Suffolk Constabulary for the excellent way in which they have investigated and dealt with this matter.

“We would also like to thank everyone who has played a part in making sure that justice has prevailed in this case.”

Jurors at Norwich Crown Court took less than two hours on Wednesday to find Tuffs, guilty of Byron's manslaughter. He was cleared of causing cruelty to Byron's twin brother, Tyrese.

Judge Mr Justice Bell ordered a pre-sentence report to be prepared and adjourned sentencing to a later date.

During the trial, the court heard that Tuffs cared for Byron and Tyrese while Miss O'Leary looked after their daughter Aaliyah, now two.

In January last year, doctors declared Byron dead after he was found “grey and floppy” at the family home in Hill Rise, Stowmarket.

Checks showed the little boy had a fractured skull and two fractured ribs. Further tests then revealed that Tyrese had a fractured skull, multiple rib fractures, a fractured arm and fractures to both legs.

Medical experts claimed the injuries to the children could not have been accidental.

It emerged yesterday that Suffolk Area Child Protection Committee review following Byron's death found warning signs over the twins' health were missed.

Its findings included a visit to Ipswich Hospital by Tyrese just two weeks before the tragedy.

Tyrese, who had apnoea (breathing difficulties) at the time was brought in by Tuffs and then released after being seen by a registrar.

Although Norwich Crown Court heard at the time Byron died, Tyrese had sustained multiple fractures to his ribs, a fractured skull, a fractured forearm, two fractured legs and a shin injury, no-one can say whether he had the injuries when he went into hospital.

The review findings stated that insufficient consideration by health staff was given to the possibility that child B (Tyrese) had symptoms that may have been consistent with his having been shaken or otherwise injured.

But Gwen Collins, the hospital's head of nursing, said that all national guidelines in the treatment of Tyrese were followed.

She said that no x-rays of Tyrese's chest or ribs were taken during his stay in hospital, as national guidelines deem unnecessary to expose children to the radiation.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus