Father who killed baby son shows no remorse, court is told
A father sentenced to life in prison for murdering his baby son has shown no remorse and refuses to admit his guilt, a court has heard.
Ryan Leslie was convicted of killing 14-week-old Cameron after the child was rushed to hospital with a head injury in September 2008.
Prosecuting barrister Ciaran Murphy QC told Belfast Crown Court that the 26-year-old “maintains that someone else may be responsible” for murdering his son.
He asked the judge to sentence Leslie, from Newtownabbey in Co Antrim, for a minimum of 15 years.
He said a probation report found the defendant, who has a record of violence against former partner Sheree Black, to be at a “high risk” of reoffending.
Miss Black, who was present at yesterday’s hearing, was visibly distressed as she watched Leslie smile and wink at his family from the dock.
“This was a defenceless baby,” Mr Murphy told the judge.
“We suggest that there were attempts to cover up the murder by saying that the fractured ribs were caused by doing CPR when it is known now that they were not. There is also a lack of remorse from the defendant.
“We suggest that these factors are directed towards there being no mitigation whatsoever.”
At the end of his trial last month, a jury unanimously found Leslie guilty of murdering Cameron and causing him grievous bodily harm with intent.
The court heard how the baby was rushed to Antrim Area Hospital and later died in Belfast’s Royal Victoria Hospital after a head injury caused his brain to swell.
He also had severe injuries to several parts of his body, with 14 fractured ribs and bruises on his legs, torso, throat and chin.
It was revealed that Leslie had tried to kill himself shortly before taking custody of Cameron.
He was looking after the baby in the days before his death.
Mr Justice Stephens remanded Leslie in custody and said he would set the minimum tariff for his jail sentence next week after considering all the evidence.
Ryan Leslie was unanimously convicted of murdering his 14-week-old son Cameron Jay Leslie in September 2008. The baby died of a head injury and also suffered bruising to his legs, torso, throat and chin, as well as having 14 rib fractures. Leslie’s former partner Sheree Black said she would never forgive him for killing their son.