Stepfather who murdered 10-month-old is seeking to appeal his sentence
Stepfather jailed for murdering 10-month-old Jacob Crouch by launching ‘vicious’ attacks on him while his mother did nothing to help is seeking to appeal his sentence
- Craig Crouch, 39, was found guilty of murdering 10-month-old Jacob Crouch
A stepfather who was jailed for murdering 10-month-old Jacob Crouch by launching ‘vicious’ attacks on him while his mother did nothing to help is looking to appeal his sentence and conviction.
Craig Crouch was found guilty of murder in August and his partner – Jacob’s mother Gemma Barton – was found guilty of causing or allowing the death of a child.
Their trial at Derby Crown Court heard how Jacob’s tiny lifeless body was discovered on the morning of December 30, 2020, at the couple’s then-home near Swadlincote, Derbyshire.
It was later discovered he had suffered 39 rib fractures from a violent assault by his controlling tormentor.
Crouch was ordered to serve a minimum term of 28 years after being found guilty of murder and three counts of child cruelty for causing ‘acute physical and mental suffering’ to Jacob over six months.
Jacob’s mother, Gemma Barton, was also jailed for 10 years for causing or allowing his death and child cruelty, after being cleared of murder and manslaughter.
The Judicial Office has now confirmed that Crouch, who ended the life of tiny Jacob in what a judge called ‘an abuse of trust of the most gross kind’, has filed an application for leave to appeal against conviction and sentence.
No date has yet been set for a court hearing in relation to the proposed appeal.
A stepfather who was jailed for murdering 10-month-old Jacob Crouch (pictured) by launching ‘vicious’ attacks on him while his mother did nothing to help is looking to appeal his sentence
Craig Crouch was found guilty of murder in August and his partner – Jacob’s mother Gemma Barton – was found guilty of causing or allowing the death of a child
Pictured: The moment Crouch is arrested for the baby’s murder
A seven-week trial heard Jacob was found dead in his cot at the family home in Foxley Chase, Linton, near Swadlincote in Derbyshire, on the morning of December 30, 2020.
READ MORE – Mother who did nothing to help her baby as he lay dying in his cot after months of horrific abuse at the hands of her ‘coercive and controlling’ boyfriend sobs as she is sentenced to 10 years in prison – as killer stepfather is jailed for 28 years
Crouch, of Donisthorpe Lane, Moira, Leicestershire, and Barton, of Ray Street, Heanor, Derbyshire, were convicted after jurors were told Jacob died from an infection caused by a traumatic bowel injury.
Sentencing the pair at the time, Mr Justice Kerr said: ‘Jacob was a small baby that had not yet learned to walk and talk. He could not defend himself.
‘This was an abuse of trust of the most gross kind. Over seven months you inflicted bruising then fractured ribs on this little baby.
‘It is profoundly depressing to say but you are something of an unlikely murderer.
‘You have shown no remorse for what you did, no explanation and no apology.’
The seven-week trial heard that Barton, 33, and Crouch, of Donisthorpe Lane, Moira, Swadlincote, met on a dating website in September 2019.
At the time she was four months pregnant with Jacob by another man – Andrew Smith – who never got to meet his son before he died.
A seven-week trial heard Jacob was found dead in his cot at the family home in Foxley Chase, Linton, near Swadlincote in Derbyshire, on the morning of December 30, 2020
At the time Gemma Barton (pictured) was four months pregnant with Jacob by another man – Andrew Smith – who never got to meet his son before he died
Within a short space of time Crouch – a forklift driver at JCB – had moved Barton away from her family and friends in Amber Valley to South Derbyshire and after Jacob was born, the physical abuse of him began.
Prosecutor Mary Prior told the trial at the time how Jacob endured a ‘culture of cruelty’ and died from a ‘vicious assault’ which saw him ‘kicked or stamped on with such severe force that it fractured a rib and caused a tear in his stomach and bowel’.
He later contracted peritonitis – an infection of the lining of the abdominal organs – and died ‘in his cot alone’ with 19 visible bruises at the time of death.
In August, Barton, of Ray Street, Heanor, was jailed for 10 years for allowing her child to die at the hands of Crouch.
READ MORE – Mother who let her baby son die at hands of her boyfriend sent sickening letter to neighbours urging them to not ask about it because ‘we are in so much pain’
Mrs Prior said: ‘These two parents created an environment in which they encouraged and applauded each other in their control and punishments of this little baby.
‘Neither of them, in this very small house where no one could be alone, could have committed these offences without the knowledge and assistance of the other.
‘Neither sought medical help for Jacob at any stage for the pain and suffering caused when his bones were broken or in the few days that followed.’
It emerged in September that the couple would not have their sentences reviewed under the Unduly Lenient Sentence (ULS) scheme.
The Attorney General’s Office (AGO) said the Solicitor General was ‘deeply saddened and appalled by this case’ but had concluded that it could not be referred to the Court of Appeal under the ULS scheme.
Referrals under the scheme can only be made if a sentence is unduly lenient, such that the sentencing judge made a gross error or imposed a sentence outside the range of sentences reasonably available in the circumstances.
At his trial, Crouch denied all knowledge of how Jacob’s multiple injuries were caused and suggested they were self-inflicted.
The judge, in his sentencing remarks, described Jacob as a happy, smiling, bubbly baby who never complained about the treatment he received.
‘He had to put up with it, and he did, often with a smile. Even those who never knew Jacob personally will miss him.
Neighbours say they received this letter after the death of Jacob Crouch
‘It is nothing less than tragic that he will never become a boy, and then a man’.
Mr Justice Kerr says Crouch was ‘domineering, aggressive, boastful and arrogant’, behaviour Barton tolerated due to ‘misplaced affection’.
The tragic statements come after MailOnline revealed the mother who allowed her ten-month-old son to die at the hands of her abusive partner duped neighbours into believing her baby had passed away from a tragic cot death.
Evil Gemma Barton and her partner Craig Crouch, who she had met on dating site Plenty of Fish while four months pregnant, tried to garner sympathy from neighbours by spinning them a sob story in a printed note which claimed: ‘Devastatingly, we woke up to find him no longer with us.’
READ MORE – How evil mother who met boyfriend while four months pregnant on Plenty of Fish went on to abuse and kill her 10-month-old baby during lockdown after ‘going along with her partner’s culture of cruelty in desperate bid for him not to leave her’
Neighbours claim the twisted letter also begged unsuspecting locals not to contact them or send any cards about little Jacob’s death because ‘we are in so much pain’.
The cruel couple, who had inflicted a horrific catalogue of abuse on baby Jacob Crouch before his death aged ten months, had seemingly carefully considered and constructed a letter in a ploy to distance themselves from any blame.
Neighbours revealed how the conniving mother, 33, and stepfather, 39, had desperately tried to get themselves off the hook by pretending Jacob was a victim of cot death – when he died at their hands.
Just hours after little Jacob had passed away, the manipulative and lying duo came up with a scheme to help keep concerned locals at bay on the brand new estate in Linton, near Swadlincote, Derbyshire, where they had moved into just months before.
In an enveloped typed note, which neighbours say was delivered through letterboxes on their quiet street, they greeted neighbours they barely knew: ‘Good evening neighbours.’
The note went on to say – after many residents had been alarmed by emergency services arriving at their rented red-brick semi earlier in the day and seeing the baby put into an ambulance – that this is ‘the hardest letter I will ever have to write.’
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