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Oliver Mailey has been handed a life sentence with a minimum of 16 years for the murder of his eight-week-old son Abel-Jax Mailey. The 26-year-old shook the baby on at least two separate occasions whilst he was in his case, on the second time the little boy went “floppy” instantly. Mailey insisted he hadn’t hurt his son, naming him his “miracle baby” but later admitted he has shaken Abel in a “moment of madness” when he wouldn’t stop crying.

Judge Cotter, sentencing at Preston Crown Court said Mailey “lied to save his own skin” over the cause of the baby’s injuries.

On the day of the incident, Mailey called Abel’s mum Mollie Gorton telling her he had “gone weird”, he showed Ms Gorton Abel and she screamed at him to call an ambulance.

But Mailey told paramedics that Abel had gone “floppy” after a feed.

Upon arrival at the hospital, Ms Gorton accused Mailey of murdering their baby.

Both Mailey and Ms Gorton were arrested on suspicion of GBH and later murder following Abel’s death. 

In December 2022 Mailey admitted manslaughter saying he had shaken Abel in “a moment of madness'”when he would not stop crying.

On the first day of his trial he also admitted shaking Abel on another accasion, about a week before he died but said he did not intent to kill or cause harm to his son. 

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Reading a statement in court Ms Gorton said Abel was “fit and well” when she left the house but within minutes “everything was gone”. 

She continued: “When I was arrested I was scared. I knew I hadn’t done anything but I was a suspect. I was the talk of the street for 12 months and couldn’t even go to the shop. I got pure anxiety not knowing who I would see. My family is in bits.”

Ms Gorton said the house “haunts” her and she doesn’t like to downstairs in the house or alone.

“I do not trust people and don’t think I will trust a man anymore. I feel like I am stuck and not getting to my destination. I’m still numb and can’t process it. It would help if I could talk to someone but I was told not to. All I am focusing on now is trying to rebuild my life,” she added.

Judge Cotter, sentencing, said: “None of the circumstances around Abel were unusual. He was not a particularly difficult child. He was a good sleeper and in a routine. There was nothing about his behaviour to drive you to your wits end. He cried more in the week before he died becuase you had injured him.

“On the first occasion Mollie was upstairs and could have helped, so it must have been a fit of anger. On the second occasion you had been woken 2-3 times in the night. Every parent experiences this. It is part and parcel of being a parent. Only 15 minutes before the incident you told Mollie he had a poo. There was at no point a period of extended crying.

“You lied to save your own skin to paramedics, doctors, Mollie and your family, claiming to have saved the child you killed. Four weeks before the trial you admitted manslaughter but continued to allow the finger of blame to point at Mollie for the first shaking.

“The evidence before this court showed Mollie to be a loving and devoted mother. Your actions caused her to lose her beloved son. Her family was blown to bits. She left home to go to work and returned to what would be a living nightmare for any mother. She had to plan her baby’s funeral alone while under suspicion of murder. It is to her credit she has not been broken by the experience.”