A father who killed his daughter because she wouldn’t stop crying has been found dead in his cell after apparently being murdered by another inmate.
Liam Deane, 22, was jailed a month ago after pleading guilty to punching two-day-old Luna in the face and causing fatal injuries.
He was found dead in his cell at HMP Leeds on Sunday and another inmate, John Westland, 28, has been charged with murder.
The horrifying incident occurred when Baby Luna was left in the care of her father while her mum went to take a nap on July 10. Deane broke down and admitted he was responsible for the attack when interviewed by police, reportedly claiming that he lost his temper when his daughter kept crying.
Deane admitted to punching Luna in the face, squeezing her body and arms, and shaking her so much that she was found with injuries to her brain, body, and face. A doctor concluded that the newborn died after suffering head trauma, leaving her with “catastrophic brain injuries.”
After a speedy trial in which Deane was found guilty, he was sentenced to life in prison for murdering the infant. Only a month into his prison sentence, he was killed by another inmate. While the reason for his death has not been explained, it stands to reason that Westland wanted to punish Deane for killing the infant girl.
“[Deane] said he was responsible for all of the injuries that she had suffered, and he said that Luna had not settled down and he lost control,” the prosecutor said in court at the time.
“In my submission, there is simply no explanation for the defendant’s [behavior],” Richard Wright, who represented Deane in court in Leeds, England, said at the time. “His actions were wholly and utterly out of character for him. The defendant will have a very long time to reflect upon his terrible [behavior].”
A month into his jail sentence, Deane was found covered in blood in his prison cell.
According to BBC, Westland—who was serving a sentence for rape and grievous bodily harm—was convicted of the murder after a 2018 trial at Leeds Crown Court.
Westland to serve a minimum of 19 years, Judge Rodney Jameson QC told the inmate:
“You told the jury that you believed Liam Deane was a sex offender, but he was not. He had committed a very serious crime, but had admitted it from the first and was trying to come to terms with what he had done.”
“It is an unfortunate consequence of life in prison that those who are themselves guilty of serious offenses, as you were, will find another inmate to look down on,” the judge continued. “Given the nature of your own conviction, some might find that to be rank hypocrisy.”
Shards of glass were found on a chair near the bunk bed with fingerprints matching Westland’s. Addressing the jury, Westland said that Deane was regularly called a “baby killer” around the prison and faced daily threats and taunting because of the nature of his conviction.
He also claimed his cellmate was in financial debt with other prisoners. Westland was originally jailed in 2008 after he admitted raping and assaulting a woman in her 50s who he had met in a nightclub. He allegedly punched his victim in the face and left her with serious injuries, including a fractured jaw. He also had a string of previous convictions for attacking older women.