A father who killed his three-year-old son by force feeding him porridge cannot be identified after a High Court judge said his African surname was too uncommon.The 36-year-old dad, from northwest London, was found guilty of manslaughter and child cruelty after causing the death of the boy on 27 November last year. The Old Bailey heard the boy’s distress would have been obvious as he struggled to free himself as his father pinned him down. The child went limp and lost consciousness as the porridge-like mixture of bread, milk, Weetabix and oats blocked his airways and lungs.
His father faces jail, but will be free within years without his name ever having been linked to the death of his child, who can also not be identified. Mr Justice Singh made a court order to ban identification of surviving children, but gave the unusual direction that neither defendant nor deceased could be named. The defendant will be sentenced tomorrow morning.
The direction effectively grants anonymity to a child killer who could go on to father more children with women who would have no idea of his criminal past. The name of the tragic toddler who died will also never be known to the public. The youngster was found covered in vomit after his father called for an ambulance on the afternoon of 27 November last year.
But the boy was pronounced dead after being rushed to hospital. Jurors heard the defendant would regularly blend a meal of bread, milk, Weetabix and oats – sometimes with rice pudding or spaghetti – before pouring it into a mug. He would then lay his son on his lap and force open his mouth by pinching his cheeks together before pouring the mixture in. Food would get into the little boy’s nose and face as he struggled to resist, and he would sometimes vomit.