Man Jailed After Worthing Baby Dies

27 year old Jerome Edwards from Bridgefield Close in Midhurst has been jailed for 8 years for manslaughter after 11 month old Crystal Hall Hummel was found with head injuries in Nursery Lane in Worthing in May 2011. She later died in Hospital.

Paramedics had been called to an address in Nursery Lane, Worthing, at 9.56am on Friday 13 May 2011 and resuscitated the baby who had stopped breathing. She was taken to Worthing Hospital, from where she was collected by a specialist team from St Thomas's Hospital in London. She arrived in London shortly after 4.30pm on Friday and was pronounced dead at 3.05pm on Saturday.

A post mortem was carried out on Monday 16 May 2011 by a Home Office pathologist and a specialist paediatric pathologist. The provisional cause of death was given as head injury and after further detailed and expert analysis by doctors specialising in infant head injury, it has been established that death was caused by internal head injuries. These are described as comprising Rotational Acceleration Decceleration Impact (RADI). There were slight external injuries to the head but these did not contribute to the death.

After the verdict Crystal's mum Georgina Hall Hummel has released a statement.

"It is very difficult to explain how I feel. A mixture of emotions - anger, pain, sorrow, guilt.My life and my family's has been torn apart.

Before this trial began, all I wanted to know was what happened that night, why did my daughter die?

I was not fully aware of the extent of her injuries and the distress she must have felt before she lost consciousness. How can someone do that to an innocent baby, who never caused harm to anyone and who could not fight back or defend herself? I can only pray that my little girl did not suffer too much in those last few hours of her life. That would be unbearable.

Crystal's life had only just begun and was cut short by the violent hands of Jerome Edwards, a man both Crystal and I trusted. She was just a baby.

For the jury to find him guilty, there has been justice for my baby's death and action taken for the person responsible. I know it will not bring Crystal back, but it will ensure he has plenty of time to think about what he did to a defenceless, innocent baby and the pain he has caused me and my family. People now know that he is an evil man capable of killing. I can only pray that in the future he is never given responsibility for a baby or child and he is never again given the trust that I gave him, as my punishment for his crime is worse that any punishment he could ever be given.

To lose a child is bad enough, but to lose one knowing that they suffered a violent and cruel death at the hands of someone you trust is heartbreaking. Crystal is irreplaceable. I miss her so much and I will never stop loving her.

Detective Chief Inspector Carwyn Hughes from the Sussex Police Protecting Vulnerable People team, said: "This is a desperately sad case. Crystal was left in the care of Edwards by her mother who trusted him to look after her. What caused him to act in such a way as to leave her fatally injured may never be fully explained, but although he has recognised that he was in sole care of her when she collapsed he has never provided an adequate explanation of what he did to the little girl or taken responsibility for his criminal actions. In a huge betrayal to both Crystal and her mother he has portrayed himself as the person who tried to save her, when in fact he was the cause of the massive injuries which she could not survive.

"Our thoughts are with Crystal's young mother, Georgina, who has conducted herself with remarkable fortitude over the last 15 months or so, and her family and friends who are obviously devastated by the loss of such a young child in entirely avoidable circumstances."