Couple jailed for killing nine-day-old baby who ‘had life shaken out of her’

·2-min read
Daniel Nolan and Sophie Nash  (Lancashire Police)
Daniel Nolan and Sophie Nash (Lancashire Police)

A mother and father who caused the death of their nine-day-old baby have been jailed for a total of 18 years.

Daniel Nolan, 30, was handed a 10-year sentence and Sophie Nash, 31, was jailed for eight years on Friday.

The pair had been found guilty of causing or allowing the death of their nine-day-old baby Ava Grace, two counts of causing or allowing serious injury to her and child cruelty.

Police were called by paramedics on 16 August 2017 after tiny Ava, then just eight days old, was reported to be unresponsive at an address in Nelson, Lancashire.

Ava was taken to Royal Blackburn Hospital where she died shortly after midnight on 17 August 2017.

A post-mortem examination revealed Ava died of a catastrophic head injury, likely to have been caused by forceful shaking.

Further investigation found Ava had also suffered a separate brain injury, as well as a broken femur, which she is believed to have suffered in the days leading up to her death.

Preston Crown Court heard that the baby had “the life shaken out of her”.

Ava Grace died when she was just nine days old (Lancashire Police)
Ava Grace died when she was just nine days old (Lancashire Police)

Speaking after the sentencing, Det Ch Insp Jill Johnston from Lancashire Police, said: “I am pleased that Nolan and Nash have both been jailed, particularly as both have continued to blame each other and neither has ever accepted any responsibility for the acts of violence that led to baby Ava’s death.

“Ultimately their selfish preoccupation with themselves, combined with their toxic and volatile relationship, has resulted in their baby losing her life.

“I would again like to thank all of the officers and staff who worked on this incredibly complex and emotive case, always with the aim of getting justice for baby Ava, as well as the witnesses who gave evidence and supported this investigation.

“We will continue to work hard with our partners to protect children like baby Ava from harm, to educate and support parents, but ultimately to protect and safeguard children, to be their voice and to prevent tragic cases such as this.”

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