Burnley dad jailed for life for killing baby son

A 26-year-old man has been jailed for life, with a minimum term of 16 years, for murdering his seven-week-old son at their home in Burnley.

Oliver Mailey, of Piccadilly Road, Burnley, contacted emergency services shortly after midday on Sunday, November 28, 2021, stating that he had found his son, Abel-Jax Mailey, in his crib limp and lifeless.

Abel-Jax was taken to the Royal Blackburn Hospital before being transferred to Manchester Children's Hospital for further treatment where he died two days later.

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Abel-Jax Mailey was just seven weeks old when he was killed

A Home Office post-mortem examination was carried out which confirmed that Abel-Jax had died as a result of a brain injury consistent with shaking. The examination also revealed that Abel-Jax had a series of older, healing injuries to both his brain and his ribs, which were thought to have been caused by a previous incident of shaking 4 to 10 days before his death.

In the run up to the trial, Oliver Mailey pleaded guilty to manslaughter; he admitted he shook Abel-Jax on that Sunday morning, but claimed that he had not intended to kill him or cause him serious bodily harm. He denied having hurt Abel-Jax previously.

On the first day of the trial Mailey admitted he had previously shaken Abel-Jax. He gave evidence in the trial that both incidents were in similar circumstances; he had shaken him to stop him crying, but had done so without any intention to kill or cause serious harm.

Following a nine-day trial at Preston Crown court, the jury concluded that he did have the necessary intent when he shook Abel-Jax and found him guilty of murder.

Katie Marsden, Senior Crown Prosecutor for CPS North West, said: “This is a truly tragic case. In his very short life Abel-Jax was subjected to appalling injuries on more than one occasion at the hands of his father; one of the very people who should have kept him safe.”

“The prosecution team worked tirelessly to achieve justice for Abel-Jax. Our thoughts remain with all those affected by his death.”