Slater Sharkey: Richard Morgan beat and shook partner"s baby to death while she was out shopping

Boyfriend, 32, beat and shook partner's baby to death while she was out shoppingBaby Slater Sharkey suffered 25 bruises from his head to his toes when he died aged 13 monthsRichard Morgan, 32, harmed the baby over 18 hours prior to his death in December 2010The baby's mother Rachel Peacock has also been convicted of cruelty to a child The pair will be sentenced tomorrow

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UPDATED:

17:46 GMT, 18 December 2012

A 32-year-old man who beat and shook a baby to death while the boy's mother went shopping was convicted of his manslaughter today.

Slater Sharkey suffered 25 bruises from his head to his toes when he died aged 13 months in December 2010, a jury at Newcastle Crown Court heard.

Richard Morgan, of Tantobie, County Durham, harmed the baby over 18 hours prior to his death. His partner, the child's mother, Rachel Peacock, 31, was convicted of cruelty to a child but cleared of causing or allowing her son's death.

Richard Morgan, 32, found guilty of beating and shaking girlfriend's 13 month old baby Slater Sharkey to death

Rachel Peacock, 31, whose 13 month old baby Slater Sharkey was shaken and beaten to death by her partner Richard Morgan

Richard Morgan (left) beat and shook baby Slater Sharkey to death. His
partner, the child's mother, Rachel Peacock, (right) was convicted of
cruelty to a child but cleared of allowing or causing his death

Mr Justice King said he would sentence the pair, who are no longer together, later and adjourned the case.

Morgan shook his head and looked at the floor when the jury forewoman announced the unanimous guilty verdict.

During the trial, Andrew Robertson QC told jurors Slater died of 'catastrophic brain damage' at the hands of Morgan, who was looking after him while Peacock went to the local shops.

The court heard on the day of his death on December 11 2010 Slater had gone to the supermarket with his mother then returned home for tea.

Peacock realised she had forgotten something when they got back and popped out to her local shop, leaving Slater alone with Morgan.

While she was away Slater lost consciousness.

Morgan claimed he had left the child playing with his toys and he was lying face-down, passed out when he got back.

Slater's lifeless body was taken to hospital but he died hours later on December 11, 2010.

Mr Robertson said: 'Rachel Peacock left Slater playing with his toys. When she left, she left the child in Richard Morgan's sole custody.

'When she returned, Slater was unconscious. Richard Morgan was panicking but he hadn't telephoned an ambulance.

'Richard Morgan's account was he had simply gone to the toilet leaving Slater playing with his toys in the living room floor and when he returned, Slater was face-down on the floor not breathing.'

The child was found to have suffered multiple head wounds consistent with being beaten or struck against something, and had bruises on his legs which suggested he had been gripped tightly.

The pair will be sentenced tomorrow at Newcastle Crown Court

The pair will be sentenced tomorrow at Newcastle Crown Court

A pathologist discovered he also had 'extensive and severe' bleeding in his eyes and bleeding and swelling to the brain – a sign he was violently shaken.

Mr Robertson added: 'The fatal injury can only have occurred when the child was left alone with Richard Morgan.

'This wasn't a one-off assault.'

The baby's mother Rachel Peacock was cleared of causing or allowing the death of a child.

But the 31-year-old mum was found guilty of cruelty after she fled a doctor's surgery a month before Slater's death in December 2010 when it was suggested the boy should be examined by a specialist.

The court heard she was covering up bruising on her boy during the shopping trip on the day he died, telling a pal she could not take him to the doctors for a cold because of the state of him.

The pair will be sentenced tomorrow.

The couple were living together in Tantobie, County Durham at the time of Slater's death.