A JUDGE has blasted a devil dad for his cowardice after he shook his 13-day-old baby son so violently he suffered some of the worst brain injuries doctors had ever seen.
Daniel Sanzone, 23, was found guilty of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment with a recommendation he serve at least 15 years after his five-week trial ended today.
Birmingham Crown Court heard tiny Joshua Millinson also had fractured legs and ribs where his father had viciously twisted his ankles and crushed his chest during his tragically short life.
Jailing him Judge Robert Jay QC said: “I cannot conclude you acted as a result of stress of frustration.
“You have given untruthful accounts to doctors and police. You have not admitted any responsibility for the death of your son and I have seen no evidence of remorse.
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“You should reflect on your cowardice and moral viciousness.”
Joshua was taken to hospital on October 24 last year suffering from a cardiac arrest.
He was transferred to another paediatric intensive care unit but despite the best efforts of medics he died almost a month later on November 21.
Consultant neuropathologist Daniel Du Plessis, from Salford Royal Hospital, told the jury how the whole of the tot’s brain suffered “catastrophic and irreversible” brain damage.
He described the brain injury, caused by lack of blood and oxygen, as being “at the most extreme end of the spectrum in his experience”.
Joshua also suffered fractures to both knees and ankles where he had been “shaken, twisted and squeezed”.
He also had fractures to his rib cage as a result of “squeezing the chest from the sides” and both his retinas were detached from the violence assault.
Sanzone had been with the tot’s mother, Zoe Howell, since 2014 but at the time of the attack the pair had been on a break.
Zoe Howell, 19, clutched her son’s teddy throughout the trial. She had been charged with causing or allowing the death of her son but was cleared on November 2.
Judge jay told Sanzone: “Your former partner had to take one year of additional pain facing charges of cruelty and causing or allowing a death.
“There is evidence you had a difficult childhood and that you had been abandoned by your family.
“As a result of that or perhaps in any event you are immature emotionally and treat all relationships as a means of getting love and attention rather than giving any out.
“When Joshua was born you were unable to accept Zoe’s wish to focus on him rather than exclusively on you.”
Speaking outside court Ms Howell blasted the 15-year sentence. She said: “It is not long enough. I know I got the justice my son deserved but it is not long enough.
“People have slated me for something I didn’t do. I wouldn’t do something like that. My son was my whole world.”
Ms Howell – who gave her son her own father’s surname, Millinson, which she also uses – had lived with Sanzone in a two-bedroom home in Wolverhampton, West Mids.
When paramedics were called at 10.30pm on October 24 they found Ms Howell’s mother Sharon giving Joshua, who was “floppy and grey” CPR.
Ms Howell told the trial she was in the kitchen when she heard a loud bang come from the living room.
Sanzone initially told her it had been a TV remote hitting the floor but later told police it was the sound of the sofa hitting the wall as he sat back.
Speaking after the hearing, Detective Inspector Jim Munro said: “This is a tragic case.
“Joshua was a totally vulnerable newborn child requiring complete love and care.
“It is horrifying to think of the violence and suffering he must have endured in his short life by a father who was supposed to look after and protect him.
“It is clear from the injuries Joshua suffered that Sanzone had repeatedly physically abused Joshua during his short life before inflicting the final fatal injury.”
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