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Ex-Australian soldier jailed for 9 years for the manslaughter of his 6-week-old son

The baby suffered a brain haemorrhage and 17 rib fractures.
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Ex-soldier Nicholas Baxter has been sentenced to nine years in prison for the manslaughter of his six-week-old baby son, Matthew. At least half of this sentence must be served.

The baby boy died from head trauma. He had severe retinal haemorrhages and 17 rib fractures when he was taken to Townsville Hospital. Ophthalmologist Dr Klaus Loibl said it was “the worst case of retinal haemorrhages I’d ever seen”.

A Townsville Supreme Court jury took 11 hours of deliberations to reach a verdict.

It was a lengthy six-week trial with 40 prosecution witnesses and 19 defence witnesses.

Baby Matthew. Source: 7 News Townsville.

The court heard that Baxter, an ex-army corporal, had called Bluewater Medical Practice in Townsville on November 3, 2011, to report his baby boy was “limp and had a purple rash on his back”.

The baby’s mother, Tenae Baxter was away at a boating course at the time. Matthew was taken to the neonatal intensive care unit but his life support machine was shut off three days later.

Nicholas and Tenae Baxter. Source: 7 News Townsville.

Matthew Baxter died at 6 weeks.

Tenae Baxter cried “No, no, no” after the verdict was read out.

She left the court in distress, having stood by her husband throughout.

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