Brian Penn: Former soldier who killed seven-week-old son jailed for 12 years

16 June 2021, 16:29

Brian Penn was sentenced at the High Court in Glasgow
Brian Penn was sentenced at the High Court in Glasgow. Picture: PA

By Patrick Grafton-Green

A father who killed his seven-week-old son has been jailed for 12 years.

Brian Penn was convicted of inflicting blunt force trauma on Kaleb Penn's head and body by unknown means and compressing his body in 2017.

The baby was left so severely injured following the attack at a property in Ayr, Scotland, on November 1 that he died two days later at the Royal Hospital for Children in Glasgow.

A jury also found Penn guilty of assaulting Kaleb to his severe injury and to the danger of his life on various occasions between October 13 and 31 that year.

The 30-year-old former soldier had lodged a defence of incrimination blaming the child's mother for the death.

Lord Weir sentenced Penn, who appeared via video link from prison, to 12 years behind bars at the High Court in Glasgow on Wednesday.

He said: "When Kaleb was born on 11 September, 2017, he could have expected without realising it the loving parental care and nurture so important for helpless infants."

He said that Kaleb instead received the "very antithesis" of the care expected and "his life was instead cut short at seven weeks".

Penn was originally charged with murder and attempted murder but was found guilty of culpable homicide and assault following his trial at the High Court in Glasgow.

Lord Weir said: "The nature of these offences and the circumstances of their infliction against a vulnerable baby now lost forever to his wider family fully justify a significant sentence."

Brian McConnachie QC, representing Penn, said he is a first offender who has so far lived his life as a useful member of society, has served in the armed forces and has a "good work ethic and was trying to support his family".

He said the reasons for what happened will never be known.

He told the court: "There seems little doubt that the oddities of this particular case are that there was a significant body of evidence which supported the fact that Mr Penn and his partner were very pleased by the fact they were having a child and everyone who saw them acting together or separately with the child thought they seemed to portray a picture of family happiness."

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