Karly Hopson's anger at leniency for man who killed her son Ethan
A BEREAVED mum believes jurors should be given "the full story" in serious cases after a jury cleared the man convicted of killing her baby son of separate sexual offences – but were not told of his previous crime.
As reported, Karly Hopson, 24, was "fuming" after Jason Redgrave, 25, of Grimsby – who is in jail for killing her six-month-son, Ethan – was cleared of two charges of sexual activity with a woman who had a mental disorder by a jury at Nottingham Crown Court on Thursday following a four-day trial.
In June, Redgrave was sentenced to eight years in prison when the jury at Hull Crown Court cleared him of murdering Ethan, but convicted him of manslaughter – although he will be eligible to be released on licence in just three years from Monday – a year to the day that he inflicted the fatal injuries on the tot while babysitting for Karly at her then home in Cleethorpes.
Her appeal – on the basis that the sentence was too lenient – was rejected, although she was aware of these other charges against him and had been hoping that he would be convicted and spend extra years behind bars.
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However, she says she was sorely disappointed when the jury cleared him and were nottold about previous convictions – just as the jury who cleared him of murder were not told about the sexual offences charge.
It is common practice for juries not to be told such information to avoid prejudicing the case, and that was also why this latest case was transferred to Nottingham Crown Court – where members of the jury were unlikely to have heard about Ethan's tragic death. A jury's decision is also supposed to be made only on the facts of that individual case.
It also impacts how newspapers can report court proceedings – the Telegraph was aware of these other charges at the time of the murder trial, but was unable to report on them until now.
Karly, who now lives in Humberston, said: "In cases as serious as these, I think the jury should know the full story and be given a briefing of the defendant's past and any pending trials.
"In my opinion, this jury should have known that the man on trial was responsible for the death of a six-month-old boy, charged with murder and convicted of manslaughter – less than a year ago.
"Why should the courts cover things up for him?
"The system is concerned about justice for him but what about justice for me and my family?
"In three years, he will be out and moving on with his life but me and my family have a life sentence – and Ethan had his life taken away."
The news comes at a difficult time for Karly, who lost her son a year ago on December 22 following his fight for life at Sheffield Children's Hospital, where he was taken after he suffered devastating head injuries on December 17.
As reported, Redgrave is believed to have viciously slapped, hit and shaken Ethan.
On the anniversary of his death – which prompted a huge public outpouring of grief – Karly will release a lantern in his memory from Ross Castle, as she and more than 100 others did last year, as reported.
"In some ways, this Christmas will be worse than the last one because it was so soon afterwards that it hadn't really sunk in," added Karly.
However, the brave mum is trying to move on with her life and now has a job as a support worker, working in Bradley Low Secure Unit with people who suffer mental health disorders or disabilities, including former offenders.
She will be spending this Christmas with her family – but there will be plenty of tributes to Ethan over the holiday period.
Karly added: "I'm trying to have a life and some days are better than others but there isn't a day that goes by when I don't think about him.
"Me and my family will never forget about Ethan and that's why it makes me so angry that in a few years, the man who killed him will be able to get on with his life again."
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