On Sunday, a 22-year-old man who was serving a life sentence for murdering his two-day-old baby was found dead in his cell at HM Prison Leeds in England after another inmate allegedly killed him.
Liam Deane, 22, was killed by prisoner John Westland, 28, who was charged afterward and appeared in court for his initial hearing this Tuesday, according to the Yorkshire Evening Post.
While the nature of the murder — specifically, how and why it was committed — remains unclear, it’s known that Deane was sentenced to life in prison in October for the horrific murder of his daughter, Luna.
“Baby Luna was only two days old when she was left in the arms of her father while her mum went to get some sleep,” The U.K. Sun reported. “Deane lost his temper during the night.”
He wound up punching her in the face, squeezing her body and reportedly shaking her like a rag doll so hard he caused injuries to her brain, body and face.
When Luna’s mother woke up, Deane claimed she had fallen and hit her head and was having trouble breathing. This spurred the mother into calling an ambulance, but by then Luna’s fate was irreversible.
“Paramedics arrived and noticed her face was badly swollen and bruised,” The Sun reported. “Luna was taken to Leeds General Infirmary where she died in intensive care on July 14, three days after the attack.”
A doctor concluded that she died from suffering head trauma so severe it had left her with “catastrophic brain injuries.”
“Seeing Luna on life support in the hospital will last with me forever,” Luna’s mother said in a statement to the court. “I can’t describe how that felt. I would not wish it upon my worst enemy.”
Even Deane’s attorney, Richard Wright, was unable to hide his own disgust in court.
“In my submission there is simply no explanation for the defendant’s behavior,” he said. “His actions were wholly and utterly out of character for him. The defendant will have a very long time to reflect upon his terrible behavior.”
Not necessarily. Though sentenced to life, the minimum amount of time Deane would have served was 10 years. After that, he presumably would have been eligible for parole. Not anymore, obviously.
Speaking at the time of Deane’s sentencing last month, Detective Superintendent Jim Dunkerley remarked on the tragic nature of what happened to Luna.
“This was an extremely tragic case where a newborn baby girl has lost her life before its even had chance to begin,” he said.
“Luna suffered an assault at the hands of one of the people who was responsible for her care and wellbeing,” Dunkerley added. “Her family has been torn apart by her death.”