A thug who battered his girlfriend’s toddler to death while she was at the hairdressers has been jailed for life with a minimum term of 19 years.
Jonathan Simpson inflicted horrific injuries including a “catastrophic brain injury” to 22-month-old Jacob Marshall.
The 25-year-old boyfriend offered to mind his victim while Jacob’s mum Emma Marshall, 23, went to the hairdressers.
In a fit of rage prosecutors said he hit Jacob and banged the little boy’s head on the kitchen floor of his Speke home, then didn’t even ring an ambulance until prompted.
Simpson tried to explain the injuries by claiming that Jacob fell off a sofa, then changed his story and said the child fell down the stairs.
Jurors unanimously found him guilty of murder, following a 12-day trial over the appalling attack, on Friday, July 12, 2019.
Emma Marshall, Jacob’s mum, said in a statement in court that brought tears to family and members of the jury: “I will never forget the words the surgeon said to me that day, she told me that she had been a surgeon for 17 years and this was the most catastrophic injury she had ever seen and as soon as she opened him up she knew there was nothing that she could do.
“Those words will stay with me forever.”
Talking about how her world “crumbled,” the grieving mum added: “The realisation that he was never coming back, that I would never get to see him grow up broke my heart, I was devastated beyond belief.”
Emma spoke of the devastating moment she had to tell Jacob’s brother he was dead.
She said: “I also had to tell my son, Thomas that his little brother Jacob wasn’t coming home. My mum and I told him together. I can’t describe how much it broke my heart having to tell him that he was never going to see Jacob again.
“We told Thomas that Jacob got sick and there was nothing the doctors could do to make him better, but I’m not sure whether he fully understood what that meant as he knew Jacob wasn’t unwell and would ask the reason why he had to go to hospital.
“I wasn’t able to tell him the truth but I know that one day, when he gets older, I am going to have to tell him the devastating truth of what really happened to Jacob and I can’t imagine the effect that this will have on him.”
The court heard a witness statement from Jacob’s nan, Christine Parkinson, who said: “As a family we have a lot of unanswered questions, we don’t know what happened to him, whether he knew himself what was happening to him or whether he suffered at all.
“These are things that we may never know and there is only one person who knows the truth about what has happened to Jacob and that person is Jonathan Simpson.
“Jonathan Simpson took our baby boy from us and we are just heartbroken. He was only a baby, he hadn’t even turned two when this happened.”
“He was such an innocent little boy with his whole life in front of him and to be taken away from us in the way he was is just cruel.
“We will never see him grow up, never be able to take him for his first day of school and watch him grow into a beautiful young man he was destined to be.
“We will never get to see him playing with his big brother Thomas or fighting with him like boys do.
“We are going to miss out on so much, we should have been able to watch him grow into an adult, get married and have children of his own.
“There is such a big hole in our lives without Jacob and our hearts will never be the same again, I miss him so much.”
The judge sentencing Simpson said the victim statements set out the enormity of loss and “could not have been more moving or more heartbreaking”.
He says it sets out the guilt they feel at allowing him into their lives and how their lives have been damaged “irreparably”.
Speaking after the sentencing, Detective Chief Inspector Sabi Kaur said: “This has been an absolutely heart-breaking case, in which we have seen the utter devastation that Simpson caused, and continues to cause, to Jacob’s family and to everyone who knew him.
“It is difficult to comprehend how Simpson could end the life of a 22-month-old child and then, having done so, run away and deny any responsibility, both to Jacob’s mother and then to police. His cowardly actions at the time of Jacob’s death and since have only served to add further suffering to everyone affected.
“We can only hope that Simpson being brought to justice today gives Jacob’s family and their friends some sense of justice to help their healing going forward. No sentence could ever replace the pain of losing Jacob, but we’d like to thank his family for their bravery and strength throughout this unimaginable ordeal.
“I’d also like to highlight the hard work and determination of our investigation team, medical experts and all those involved in bringing this difficult and distressing investigation to a satisfactory conclusion.”