Richard Barraclough KC leading Ben Irwin prosecuted in relation to a death of a 5 month old baby

August 16, 2023

6 Pump Court

Richard Barraclough KC leading Ben Irwin prosecuted GROCOTT and COLLARD before Cotter J in the Stafford Crown Court in relation to the death of their 5 month old baby. The baby suffered a collapse at home. Despite the efforts of paramedics and hospital experts she died. At post mortem a catalogue of serious injuries was discovered including fractures to one leg, multiple fractures to the ribs, injuries to the mouth and ear, bruising to the scalp and deep bruising to an arm. The view of the experts was that the baby had died as a result of compression of the chest which caused a cardiac arrest and hypoxic brain damage. The child had suffered at least 7 events, some on the day of collapse. Both parents were prosecuted and on 18th July 2023 convicted by a jury of two offences one of causing or allowing the child to suffer serious injury and the other an offence of causing or allowing the child’s death. The child had been repeatedly exposed to cannabis and the parents were convicted of child cruelty in so exposing her. The offences were committed at a time when the maximum sentence for causing or allowing death was 14 years. It is now life imprisonment. The judge was not satisfied to the required standard that one rather than the other had caused rather than allowed the death/injuries. He sentenced both on the basis of allowing death/injuries. He sentenced the mother GROCOTT to 8 years imprisonment for that offence and COLLARD to 11 years imprisonment all other sentences to be concurrent.

Links to news coverage of the case are below:-

Sky News 

Staffordshire Police

Daily Mail


The Sun


Birmingham Mail

Manchester Evening News