Wakefield dad jailed for killing his crying baby girl

JAILED: Benjamin Smith
JAILED: Benjamin Smith

A DAD who killed his crying baby daughter by throwing her to the floor has been jailed for five years.

Benjamin Smith, 34, snapped while looking after his four-month-old daughter Mia just before Christmas 2009.

Leeds Crown Court heard today (Friday) Mia Smith suffered a complex double-skull fracture during the fall at the family home in Kettlethorpe.

She died four days later on Christmas morning.

Smith, of Netherton Lane, Wakefield, denied murder but admitted manslaughter.

In a statement Smith said: “In exasperation I threw Mia down to the floor from a standing position.”

Mr Justice Lloyd-Jones, passing sentence, said: “I except you simply came to the end of your tether in very trying circumstances. This is a case where you lost control of yourself and a case of lack of intent. You acted totally out of character.

“You will have to live with what you have done.”

After the hearing Richard Pickard, Mia’s maternal grandfather, issued a statement on behalf of the family.

It said: “Whatever the outcome of the court case it was never going to bring Mia back to us but at least we now understand the truth behind her death.

“As a family we would like to express our gratitude to West Yorkshire Police, the legal services and the many other people and organisations that have helped us through this very difficult time.

“We would appreciate if the media would respect our privacy as we continue to come to terms with the circumstances of Mia’s death and the subsequent court case.”

Senior Investigating Officer, Detective Superintendent Paul Taylor, said: “This has been a complex and protracted investigation during which we have worked closely with medical experts from across the world. “As a result, we have been able to establish the facts and circumstances surrounding Mia’s death and I am pleased that justice has been served today.

“I hope Mia’s family can start to rebuild their lives and that today’s conviction brings them some closure to what has been a difficult two and a half years.”