Jail for Broxburn baby killer who threw three-month-old onto sofa

A man responsible for killing his baby daughter has today been jailed.
A man responsible for killing his baby daughter has today been jailed.

A DAD who killed his three month-old daughter when she would not stop crying has been jailed for six and a half years.

Traherne Williams hurled tiny Sophia Williams onto a couch causing catastrophic brain damage.

Strathbrock Family Unit in Broxburn, West Lothian, where Sophia was found

Strathbrock Family Unit in Broxburn, West Lothian, where Sophia was found

A judge heard how Williams had become “absolutely frustrated” that the baby would not take her feed.

The 23 year-old later lied to a doctor Sophia had fallen at a family centre they had been staying at in Broxburn, West Lothian.

Sophia never recovered and died in hospital in June 2016.

Williams today returned to the High Court in Glasgow having earlier pled guilty to a culpable homicide charge.

His QC told how the child killer plans to help “inexperienced adults” struggling to cope with life when he is freed from jail.

Lord Matthews told Williams parenthood was an “enormous privilege” and that a “babe in arms” is a “delicate creature”.

He went on: “You became frustrated and threw the defenceless child – your own flesh and blood – onto a sofa.

“This was before she had any chance to engage in the gift of life.”

Williams smiled at his 20 year-old partner Shannon Main as he was lead handcuffed to the cells.

The pair originally faced a murder allegation. Williams instead admitted to the reduced charge while Main’s not guilty plea was accepted.

A hearing last month was told she is standing by the man who killed their child.

The court heard today how social work were involved with the family from when Sophia was just two weeks old.

This was due to “concerns” about the couple’s “parenting abilities”.

They ended up at the Strathbrock Family Unit in Broxburn, West Lothian.

The centre is a homeless unit – the couple were staying there while waiting for their own tenancy.

On May 28 – two days before the fatal attack – an ill Sophia was taken to hospital.

It was suspected she had a virus, but was deemed well enough to go home.

On May 30, the pair were at the unit with Sophia when Main tried to feed her.

But, she was found to be “less responsive than usual”.

Her parents were later not able to rouse her. Main then contacted St John’s Hospital in Livingston.

Prosecutor Angela Gray said: “When paramedics arrived, it was immediately apparent the child was extremely sick.”

Sophia was rushed to hospital – it was initially feared she had meningitis.

Miss Gray: “On asking Williams whether the child had been injured, the doctor was told she had fallen from a couch three or four weeks previously.”

Williams was later described as “upset”, but medics felt he was being “defensive”.

A consultant believed Sophia’s brain injury was “highly suspicious of non accidental injury”

On June 4, Williams claimed he had to leave hospital due to “anxiety issues”.

Sophia never recovered and she was pronounced dead the following day.

She was found to have suffered a “traumatic head injury”.

A police probe soon began into Sophia’s tragic death.

Williams was later quizzed, but denied assaulting his daughter deliberately.

Miss Gray: “He stated he may have done something accidentally. He did not specify precisely what.”

The prosecutor said the guilty plea was accepted on basis Williams “became frustrated at his inability” to stop Sophia crying while alone with her on May 30.

He was then said to have “forcibly threw her onto a couch” in the living room.

Miss Gray: “The type of force used would be immediately apparent to anyone watching as being significant.”

The court heard today there had been a “bit of indignation” on William’s part that Sophia was not kept in hospital when initially taken on May 28.

Describing the fatal attack, his QC Ian Duguid said: “He was absolutely frustrated at his attempts at feeding her.

“He did not anticipate that by putting her down on the sofa that it would have the consequences which transpired.”

The advocate added Williams had a “general distrust” of social workers and appeared to “shun efforts” to assist him.

But, Mr Duguid went on: “He is actually determined (when he is released) to engage in some kind of work which helps inexperienced adults.

“He is keen to pass on what he has experienced, so others do not make the same terrible mistake he made.”

Lord Matthews said the jail term would have been eight years, but for the guilty plea.

Detective Chief Inspector Rory Hamilton said: “The injuries inflicted upon Sophia Williams by her father left her with significant brain damage from which she could not recover.

“Traherne Williams was in charge of his daughter’s care and wellbeing and his despicable actions robbed her of her future.

“I would like to thank Sophia’s extended family for their support and co-operation and it is my sincere hope that the sentence handed to Williams offers them some form of closure so that they may begin to move on with their lives.”