Dad of newborn who died with broken neck found guilty of his murder

22 March 2024, 16:27

Michael Davis (left) was found guilty of murder at Leicester Crown Court on Friday
Michael Davis (left) was found guilty of murder at Leicester Crown Court on Friday. Picture: Leicestershire Police

By Flaminia Luck

The father of a four-week-old baby who died after suffering "catastrophic physical abuse" has been convicted for his murder.

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Ollie Davis - who was found unresponsive in his cot in 2017 - died from the delayed effects of a broken neck.

On Friday, Michael Davis, 29, was found guilty of his murder at Leicester Crown Court. He was also found guilty of two counts of grievous bodily harm with intent.

Ollie's mother, Kayleigh Driver, 31, was found guilty of two offences - causing or allowing the death of a child and causing or allowing a child to suffer serious physical harm.

She was found not guilty of murder and not guilty of grievous bodily harm with intent.

Both are due to be sentenced on 10 April.

Michael Davis interviewed by police in 2017

Emergency services were first called to the-then family home in Upper Temple Walk, Leicester, after Ollie was found unresponsive. He was rushed to hospital but pronounced dead a short time later.

There were no obvious signs of injury or any illness that could explain Ollie’s death but a post-mortem examination revealed Ollie had died from the delayed effects of a broken neck, believed to have occurred up to eight days before his death.

The injury had led to the compression of the spinal cord which had caused him to stop breathing.

It was also revealed Ollie had a total of 40 bone fractures – including a fractured skull, collar bone, breaks to joints in both arms and legs and 23 rib fractures.

Newborn Ollie Davis died in 2017
Ollie Davis was found unresponsive in his cot on the morning of 21 October 2017. Picture: Leicestershire Police

Davis and Driver, both of Carlisle Street, Leicester, were initially arrested on 27 October 2017 but offered no plausible account or explanation for Ollie's injuries.

The force said it was established the fractures he sustained were non-accidental and must have been caused by serious physical abuse.

The nature of the injuries also revealed they were caused by inflicting harm in different ways – incuding a blow to the head or impact against a hard surface to cause the skull fracture, severe compression of the chest to cause rib fractures, twisting of the limbs to cause the joint fractures and a pulling of the neck to cause the injury which ultimately killed Ollie.

Leicestershire Police continued the "substantial and complex" investigation for more than six years.

The force said they continued to interview Davis and Driver – who both denied any knowledge of what had happened - as well as family members and key health care professionals. 

In October 2021, the pair were charged in connection with Ollie’s death and of causing the multitude of other injuries.

Emergency services were called to the-then family home in Upper Temple Walk, Leicester
Emergency services were called to the-then family home in Upper Temple Walk, Leicester. Picture: Google Images

DI Mark Parish said: “The determination and commitment from the investigation and prosecution team has been in vital in achieving today’s result.

"We never lost sight in how important it was to get justice for Ollie.”

DC Batstone added: “Davis and Driver have evaded justice since 2017 but will now be facing a lengthy sentence for their actions.

"Ollie was a defenceless newborn baby who was abused and ultimately killed by someone who should have protected and cared for him the most.

“I would like to thank all the witnesses who gave evidence in this trial and extend my heartfelt condolences to Ollie’s wider family who can hopefully take some comfort now we have finally got justice for Ollie.”

Read more: IT worker who murdered millionaire couple with fentanyl before altering their will jailed for life

On Friday, Ollie's wider family said: “We have been left with such a void in our hearts.

"Ollie, life has never been the same. You will always be with us our sweet boy. Until we meet again our little one.

"Catch all the love and kisses we send up to you. Your loving broken-hearted family.”

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