Mum jailed for cruelty after child is killed by falling television

Kian McMillan, who died from catastrophic injuries

Kian McMillan, who died from catastrophic injuries

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A woman who killed her four-month-old son when she knocked a five-stone television set on to his head while she was high on drink and drugs has been jailed for 15 months for child cruelty.

Natalie McMillan, 25, put her “self-indulgent drugs lifestyle” ahead of the welfare of her son, Kian, who died from “catastrophic injuries”, said the Recorder of Preston, Judge Anthony Russell QC yesterday.

The judge issued a warrant for the arrest of the boy’s father, McMillan’s former boyfriend, Edward Hanratty, 41, of Dirkhill Road, Bradford, who had pleaded guilty to child cruelty by neglect, but who failed to attend the court.

The baby was lying on a mat at their then home in Burnley, Lancashire, when McMillan attempted to move the television.

While giving evidence at her trial she tried to shift the blame to Hanratty, 41, and said she was upstairs in bed at the time.

She denied she had been under the influence of drugs when her son died but tests showed she had taken heroin and valium.

Hanratty had also taken drink and drugs and had passed out on the kitchen floor at their address in Scarlett Street on December 6, 2011.

Both had pleaded guilty to child cruelty on the basis of neglect during a trial at Preston Crown Court last month.

McMillan, of Clarendon Road, Leeds, was cleared of manslaughter by gross negligence but Judge Russell said yesterday that he was satisfied it was she who actually moved the television through “foolishness”.

Sentencing McMillan, the judge said: “Over the short life of your child it is apparent that both you and your partner gave priority to your selfish and self-indulgent drugs lifestyle and neglected the welfare of Kian.”

"On the night he died, both of you were so intoxicated by drugs and alcohol that you probably forgot all about him with the tragic consequence that he died."

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