Parents back son facing jail
PARENTS of a young father convicted of killing one of his twin babies today thanked the community for its support.Violet Tuffs and her husband, Pete Napper, were speaking after Violet's son, James Tuffs, was found guilty of manslaughter at Norwich Crown Court last month.
PARENTS of a young father convicted of killing one of his twin babies today thanked the community for its support.
Violet Tuffs and her husband, Pete Napper, were speaking after Violet's son, James Tuffs, was found guilty of manslaughter at Norwich Crown Court last month.
The 21-year-old, who was cleared of cruelty towards Byron's twin brother, Tyrese, is due to be sentenced in London on September 19.
Today, breaking their silence following the court case, Mrs Tuffs and Mr Napper told of the heartbreak they have endured since Byron's death, on January 21, 2004.
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Their joint statement said: "We would like to thank the host of people in Stowmarket and surrounding areas who have supported James through these terrible 18 months. It has been a traumatic time for James and all his family.
"We would also like to say a big thank you to all his friends who have supported him, and especially those who were there for him during the trial."
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During his three-week trial, Tuffs admitted falling asleep with Byron on the sofa at their then home, in Hill Rise, Stowmarket, but denied manslaughter.
He said he was woken by Byron's mother, Zoe O'Leary, to find the baby was unconscious. It later emerged both Byron and Tyrese had suffered multiple fractures.
Tyrese and his older sister, Aaliyah, two, are currently in foster care.
Mrs Tuffs and Mr Napper said: "We all know that nearly every parent has at some time fallen asleep with their baby on a sofa, armchair or even in bed.
"We were all very shocked and saddened to learn of the terrible injuries sustained by both of the twin boys, of which James was found to be not guilty.
"With helping to cook, clean, shop, look after his two small sons all night and quite often during the day, as well as sometimes looking after his daughter, we can understand that he must have been very tired."
The statement added: "James is a loving, caring person, always ready to help others, as the personal references read out in court prove. He was very proud of his children and loved them to bits, as many people have said to us during the past 18 months, borne out by the letters, cards and visits from people who support him.
"He has never been in trouble with the law."
The couple said they would support him whatever the outcome of his sentencing hearing next month. Tuffs has been warned he could face jail.
Mrs Tuffs and Mr Napper said: "We are a very strong family and we have stuck together throughout this. We've supported James throughout this and will continue to do so whatever happens."