A FATHER murdered his 15-week-old baby son after shaking him so violently his eyes bled, a jury was told.

Matthew Jones, formerly of South Bank, Beaufort, Ebbw Vale, caused Cody Rhys Williams-Jones “catastrophic head injuries”, prosecutor Paul Lewis QC told Newport Crown Court.

The 26-year-old is on trial after pleading not guilty to murder and manslaughter.

Mr Lewis told the jury: “Cody Rhys Williams-Jones was born on August 23, 2016. He was the natural son of the defendant.

“He died on December 8, 2016, aged 15 weeks, as a result of catastrophic head injuries inflicted upon him by the defendant on the afternoon of the previous day, and when Cody was in the defendant's sole care at the family home.”


The court heard that at the time of the alleged killing, Jones was working long hours as an electrical engineer at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital, near Llantrisant.

Mr Lewis said: “Cody’s mother’s name is Paula Williams. She and the defendant met in about 2014.

“Paula Williams' pregnancy was unplanned, and when he learned of it, initially the defendant wanted nothing more to do with Paula and the forthcoming arrival.

“However, as Paula’s pregnancy progressed, the defendant’s attitude softened, and in April 2016, the defendant and Paula set up home together in a rented three-bedroomed house at South Bank.”

The jury was told that aside from some commonplace and trivial childhood ailments after he was born in August, there were no apparent health problems and the baby appeared to be “thriving”.

The court heard that at around 5pm on December 7, 2016, his mother took Cody home to South Bank and left him there with Jones whilst she went out to visit her sister, Tara Marshman, who lived nearby. 

Mr Lewis said: “From that moment on, the defendant was alone with Cody at the family home.

“Just after 6pm that day, Paula Williams received a telephone call from the defendant. He said that Cody would not stop crying. Paula told the defendant to stay calm, and to use Cody’s teething gel to soothe him.

“A few minutes later, he called again. Now, the defendant was screaming and saying: ‘It’s the baby; I don’t know what is wrong.’”

He said that when she came home, her son appeared to his mother to be “floppy” and he was rushed by ambulance to Abergavenny’s Nevill Hall Hospital and then transferred to Cardiff’s University Hospital of Wales.

Mr Lewis said: “Cody underwent emergency surgery and was given all appropriate medical care.

“Sadly, such efforts to save Cody were in vain. The consensus of medical opinion was that there was no prospect of him making any significant degree of recovery from his catastrophic injuries.

“His life support was thus withdrawn, and Cody died in the late afternoon of December 8, 2016.”

The jury were told a post-mortem found he had suffered sub-dural and sub-arachnoid haemorrhages, including bleeding extending the full length of the spinal cord – that is bleeding beneath two different membranes that surround the brain.  

He also had brain swelling and retinal haemorrhages – small bleeds in both of his eyes, too numerous to count – and a recent 2.3cm in diameter bruise in the centre of his forehead caused by an impact.

The cause of death was given by the pathologist as “a catastrophic head injury”.

The abnormalities seen on Cody's scans were considered by a specialist.

Mr Lewis said: “He concluded that what was to be seen was likely to be due to an episode of abusive head trauma, involving a shaking mechanism.”

The jury were also told that the infant had suffered “older injuries” which included a healing fracture of the left shoulder, broken ribs and a bleed on the right side of the brain.

Mr Lewis added: “We allege that Cody’s fatal injuries were as the result of deliberate violence that the defendant employed against him – probably in the form of both shaking and impact.

“We suggest that the medical evidence will be such that an accidental fall can be excluded.

“We also allege that he must also have been responsible for also causing those older injuries to his son through the use of violence.”

Mr Lewis said when the father was interviewed by detectives last June, he was shown text and WhatsApp messages between himself and Miss Williams which suggested that he was prone to losing his temper.

He admitted referring to Cody in those messages as a “pleb" but said that his use of the word was just a “joke”.

Defending Jones, Richard Smith QC said of his client: “He was working very hard indeed supporting his newborn child and his partner Paula.

'He has never been in trouble with police. This is a good man, he is not an evil man. 

'He was a good father and parent and above all else he loved Cody."

Mr Smith said the child was a "strong little baby" who would push away if being held in someone's arms.

He added: "He was a difficult and demanding baby who left his mother and father tired. He cried a great deal."