Haverfordwest man was jailed for 10 years today (Monday) for shaking a friend's baby and causing life changing brain injuries while babysitting.

Stephen Carl Smith had agreed to babysit while Luke Taylor and his partner Sophie Reed went night fishing.

They caught the biggest sea bass they had ever hooked but arrived home to Merlins Bridge to find five month old Bayleigh-Lee Taylor had suffered brain damage.

Swansea crown court heard she would never recover.

Western Telegraph:


Smith, 28, of Hywel Road, claimed Bayleigh-Lee had suddenly fallen ill.

But a jury decided he had shaken her and he was convicted of causing grievous bodily harm with intent.

Bayleigh-Lee suffered a bleed to her brain and is now virtually blind.

Smith still maintained he was innocent and refused to apologise.

Judge Peter Heywood said Smith had lost his temper when Bayleigh-Lee was crying.

A momentary loss of control had led to tragic consequences and permanent disability for the baby.

"The results were catastrophic and life changing," he added.

The jury heard how Smith and Mr Taylor had been friends and Smith would sometimes help out Mr Taylor, a self employed delivery driver.

On August 18, 2016, they asked Smith to babysit while they fished off Milford Haven pier.

During the night Smith sent them a text message saying Bayleigh-Lee was having breathing difficulties.

When they arrived home Bayleigh-Lee was sitting in a chair and appeared to be asleep.

While Miss Reed was in the kitchen the baby let out "a piercing scream."

Miss Reed picked her up to find her limp and lifeless.

The child was taken to Glangwili Hospital and then the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff, where doctors found there had been bleeding to the brain.

"She will need medical care for the rest of her life," said Judge Heywood. "Something went disasterously wrong that evening."

He said that while he could accept an expert's opinion that the brain damage could have been caused by a momentary loss of control by someone who did not intend to harm the baby, he had to also bear in mind the terrible consequences.

John Hipkin, the barrister representing Smith, told the judge that all he could say on his behalf was that he had not offended in a similar way before.

An NSPCC Cymru/Wales spokesperson said: “Smith was responsible for protecting baby Bayleigh-Lee but abandoned that duty of care and inflicted catastrophic injuries on her.

“Babies and young children are completely dependent upon the adults who care for them and it is vital that anyone worried about a child’s welfare raises concerns as it could save them from serious harm.

“The NSPCC offers help and support to parents via our website – nspcc.org.uk – and our helpline on 0808 800 5000.”