08:48, December 04 218 0 theguardian.com

2018-12-04 08:48:09
Man jailed 20 years after baby attack is freed by court of appeal

A man who was jailed after a baby he shook died from his injuries almost two decades later has been freed on appeal.

Ewan Marrin was left severely disabled after being violently shaken by Marc Guy when he was six months old. His injuries led to his death at the age of 18 and Guy, 43, was jailed for 21 months at Newcastle crown court in August after admitting manslaughter.

But he was freed on Tuesday by the court of appeal in London. Guy, who watched proceedings over a video link from prison, appeared relieved and emotional as Mrs Justice McGowan said his sentence would be suspended for two years.

Sitting with Lady Justice Rafferty and Judge Mark Lucraft, McGowan said: “The word exceptional may be used too often, but in the view of this court this is an extraordinarily exceptional case.”

She later added: “We take the view that the sentence can properly be suspended.”

The court’s decision means Guy, of Lower Killeens in County Cork, Ireland, will be released from prison immediately.

Marrin, from Houghton-le-Spring in Tyne and Wear, was entirely dependent on others for his care after the attack, which took place at a house in Seaham, County Durham, in 1998. He was left with brain damage and had health issues including spastic quadriparesis, visual impairment and seizures.

He died in May 2016 from sudden and unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP), caused by the attack on him as a baby.

Guy had already served a 21-month sentence after he admitted inflicting grievous bodily harm against Marrin at Teesside crown court in April 1999. Prosecutors were able to demonstrate a connection between the 1998 incident and Ewan’s death.

McGowan told the appeal court Guy was a drug user at the time of the attack but had turned his life around.

After his release from prison he had moved to Ireland, where he started a family and set up a small business. His lawyers said he was genuinely remorseful for what he did to Marrin and was a reformed character as well as a devoted husband and father.

McGowan said: “He has altered his life and might properly be described as a very different person today as the man who caused the injuries in 1998.”