A Watford man has been sentenced for his involvement in the death of a child following an assault more than 20 years ago.
Dean Smith (pictured), 46, appeared at the Old Bailey yesterday (Wednesday, December 22), where he was sentenced to three-and-a-half years’ imprisonment for the manslaughter of Maisie Newell.
He had previously appeared at the same court on Monday, September 27, where he was found not guilty of murder and pleaded guilty to manslaughter.
Smith had assaulted his baby daughter on August 26, 2000, at the family’s home in Harrow when she was just four weeks old.
He admitted to throwing the new-born across the room into her cot after becoming frustrated at her crying while his partner was out of the house.
He and his partner concocted a story that their older child, who was aged 18 months, had been responsible for Maisie’s injuries after dropping her on the floor. This was inconsistent with her injuries and was picked up immediately by the clinicians treating her.
In 2001, Smith, then aged in his mid-20s, was convicted of grievous bodily harm against Maisie. He was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment.
The consequences of the attack for Maisie, who had been born healthy, were life changing. She was left with severe mental and physical disabilities. Maisie sadly died at her home in Norfolk on 28 June 2014.
A post-mortem examination on July 10, 2014, recorded a causal link between her death and the assault committed against her by Smith in 2000.
A murder investigation was launched by detectives from the Met’s Specialist Crime Command and Smith was arrested on suspicion of murder on July 11, 2014. He was released on bail and subsequently made the subject of no further action in March 2016.
Following a full review of the medical evidence, a report was produced; the case was reviewed and Smith was further arrested on February 12, 2019.
In September 2020, he appeared for trial at the Old Bailey. The trial resulted in a hung jury and a retrial was scheduled.
Detective Sergeant Sarah Fisher, from the Met’s Specialist Crime Command, said: “Instead of the healthy life that Maisie should have lived, she was sentenced, by virtue of Smith’s actions, to a short life of severe disability and pain. I hope that this is something Smith reflects upon as he begins his own sentence.
“Maisie was supported and loved by her adoptive family in Norfolk. This entire process has been traumatic for them. After losing Maisie, they did not expect a murder investigation to take place, much less a retrial.
“My thoughts are with them today and hope that the sentence handed down brings them a measure of closure.”
Maisie’s adoptive mother, Tracey Newell, said in her impact statement to the court: “Maisie always had the ability to draw people to her, she was like sunshine, radiant and bright. Whilst her body was so damaged, her soul remained intact.
“We all thought the world of her and doted on her. She was, and always will be, eternally loved by us all. Our family will never be the same without her.”