Dad ‘shook four-month-old baby to death after calling him a PLEB’


A DAD who shook his four-month-old baby to death referred to the child as a “pleb”, a murder trial heard today.

Mathew Jones, 26, claimed he “clumsily” dropped baby Cody Rhys Williams-Jones at bedtime.

Rugby player Mathew Jones, 26, of Beaufort, Ebbw Vale, claimed he ‘clumsily’ dropped little Cody Rhys Williams-Jones, who he referred to as a ‘pleb’
Athena Picture Agency

However a jury heard Cody suffered catastrophic head injuries in a violent assault and he died the next day.

A post mortem examination found Cody had suffered previous injuries including 13 broken ribs and a fractured shoulder.

Prosecutor Paul Lewis QC said: “Cody’s injuries were as a result of deliberate violence probably in the form of both shaking and impact.

“The medical evidence is such that an accidental fall can be excluded.

“The defendant must also be responsible for causing the older injuries to his son through the use of violence.”

Newport Crown Court heard Cody was “fine” when his mother Paula Williams, 26, left him with her partner Jones on December 6 2016 while she visited her sister.

But at bedtime Jones claimed the tot “kicked against him” and fell two to three feet from his arms onto the bed below.


Mr Lewis said: “He called Miss Williams screaming: “It’s the baby, I don’t know what is wrong’.

“Miss Williams dashed home and found Cody appeared to be floppy. She shouted at the defendant: ‘What the f*** did you do?’”

A CT scan showed a “devastating picture” of bleeds and brain swelling and Cody died the following day of his injuries.

The court heard he had so many haemorrhages to his eyes it was impossible to count them all.

Mr Lewis said: “Cody’s retinal haemorrhages were almost certainly the consequence of an impact and shaking type of head injury.

“Had Cody survived the probability is that he would have been left with severe and permanent visual impairment.

“His earlier fractured shoulder was most likely caused by forceful yanking up to six weeks before the head injury that caused his death.”

The court heard Jones was prone to losing his temper and WhatsApp messages sent to Cody’s mother referred to the baby as a “pleb”.

Jones, an electrical engineer at an NHS hospital, said the use of the word was just a “joke”.

The jury heard Jones gave family members, police and doctors different explanations about how Cody suffered his fatal head injury.

Rugby player Jones told a relative: “I’m an idiot, I’m so clumsy,” in the hours after Cody was admitted to hospital.

Richard Smith, defending, told the jury: “Mr Jones was working very hard indeed supporting his newborn child and his partner Paula.

“He was a good father and parent and above all else he loved Cody.”

Jones, from Beaufort, Ebbw Vale, denies murder and manslaughter.

The trial continues.

The electrical engineer at an NHS hospital is accused of murdering his 15-week-old baby son by shaking him so hard his eyes bled
Athena Picture Agency
Jones, pictured with his son, denies murder and manslaughter
Athena Picture Agency

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