Review for Nelson baby-killer's 'too short' sentence

SENTENCE REVIEW: Michael John Pearce was found guilty of killing six-week-old Alfie Rhys Sullock

KILLED: Alfie Rhys Sullock

First published in Campaign news

A NINE-YEAR jail term given to a baby killer is being reviewed by the attorney general amid complaints the sentence was not long enough.

Michael John Pearce, 33, was convicted of the manslaughter of his former girlfriend's six-week-old son Alfie Sullock.

However, the motorcycle mechanic was cleared of murder - an offence which carries an mandatory life sentence, albeit with a judge setting a minimum term.

Divorcee Pearce was told by a Judge he could expect to serve half a custodial term in prison with the remainder on licence. Given that Pearce spent about a year on remand while awaiting trial, it means he could be released from prison by early 2018.

However, the attorney general's office confirmed it has received about 10 complaints - and a decision will be made by the end of the month whether to refer Pearce's case to the Court of Appeal.

During Pearce's trial, Newport Crown Court heard Alfie was battered with a shoe and a plastic bottle.

A jury was told the newborn's mother Donna had left her son with Pearce at his home in Nelson, Caerphilly. Former holiday rep Ms Sullock - who met Pearce while six months pregnant - was on her first night out since giving birth.

That evening on August 11 last year, Pearce sent Ms Sullock a text message saying "you can trust me you know".

But about half an hour later paramedics were at his terraced home, where they found Alfie cold and blue.

Four days later the baby died. A post-mortem showed Alfie suffered severe head injuries and also had major bruising to his chest and abdomen as well as an injury to his penis.

Judge Mr Justice Baker said Alfie died as a result of Pearce inflicting multiple blunt force injuries on the child.

The court heard Pearce began to display "obsessive behaviour" towards Ms Sullock and asked her to give him a child weeks into their relationship, which she had refused.

In his summing up, Mr Justice Baker said: "It may well be that due to your denials we may never know whether you were motivated by jealousy as a result of Donna's refusal to have your child, earlier that evening."

Following Pearce's conviction, Ms Sullock had said: "Whatever sentence he gets will never be long enough for taking Alfie's life away. We have been through a year of hell."

Comments

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree