On 30th January 2023, Leon Matthias was convicted of the murder of his 9 week-old son, Hunter, following a trial before Mrs Justice Lambert at Sheffield Crown Court which lasted for three months .
The jury found by their verdict that Hunter had been shaken and/or thrown against a hard surface by his father in a moment of frustration, causing multiple severe injuries to his brain and eyes, bruising to his scalp and fractures to the bones of his leg. The defence at trial involved a challenge to virtually every aspect of the medical evidence; several defence expert witnesses from other jurisdictions were called in an ultimately unsuccessful attempt to cast doubt on the opinions of the experienced mainstream medical practitioners called on behalf of the prosecution.
The defendant was sentenced on 2nd February 2023 to life imprisonment. Mrs Justice Lambert ordered that he should serve a minimum term of 16 years before his case was eligible for consideration by the Parole Board.
Mr Smith KC and Mr Storey were instructed by Yorkshire & Humberside CPS Complex Casework Unit (Helen Gaunt and Liz Frain) and worked closely with members of South Yorkshire Police’s Major Crime Unit in the presentation of this case.