Mum cradled dying baby son in her arms after tot battered by evil dad who tried to blame her

A SHATTERED mum told how her baby died in her arms after being savagely battered by his evil dad.

Kelly-Anne Cope, 31, cradled seven-week-old Kaleb Penn when medics withdrew life support after a harrowing two-day battle for survival.

But she was unaware the tot had suffered “car-crash” injuries at the hands of her partner Brian Penn, 30.

The brute — who tried to blame Kelly-Anne for the death — was today convicted of killing Kaleb at their Ayr home.

The verdict brought back painful memories of how she shared her tiny son’s last moments at Glasgow’s Royal Hospital for Children.  

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Kelly-Anne recalled: “When they turned off the machines, they passed Kaleb to me and I held him until his heart stopped beating.

“I needed him back. It felt like he was still breathing. But because he’d been on an oxygen machine, it was the air coming out of his lungs.

“I thought he was gasping for air. I kept saying, ‘Just breathe, just breathe.’ I thought this was him telling me all the medics were lying, that he was OK. But it was the life coming out of him.”

Kelly-Anne’s nightmare had begun two days earlier when Penn came into her bedroom carrying Kaleb, who was limp.

She said: “I was asleep but   Brian put on the bedroom light and said, ‘Call 999, the wean’s not breathing.’

“Brian was doing CPR, clearing his airways — but I couldn’t watch because Kaleb’s wee face was grey and his eyes were rolling back.

“His wee heart was beating by itself. He was alive.

“Brian was really quiet. He cried a bit but I was crying constantly.”

“Compared to me, Brian was calm. I was hysterical.” After Kaleb was taken to hospital he was put in an induced coma and given scans.

His mum said: “I was able to give him a wee kiss and hold his little hand. I sat with him constantly.

“He had a monitor across his head, two canulas in his hands, a heated blanket and wires going everywhere.

“I was humming little songs and talking to him about silly things, like his next baby massage class.

“Brian came through a few times — but he was able to sleep.”

On November 3, 2017, medics told Kelly-Anne there was nothing more they could do. Kaleb died a short time later as she held him.

But she was left devastated again in January 2019 when police came to her house and told Penn he was to be charged with murder.

She said: “I asked him, ‘Why was he charged? What did the police have on him? Did he know why they thought he’d killed him?’

“But he just snapped at me and answered  ‘No’ to everything.”

Kaleb’s post-mortem revealed he’d suffered a fractured skull, a brain bleed and serious brain injury plus broken ribs. 

When Penn appeared at Glasgow’s High Court he lodged a defence of incrimination — blaming the innocent mum.

But the cowardly fiend didn’t tell her, even though they stayed together for another seven months.

Kelly-Anne — who has a framed cast of Kaleb’s footprints at her new home — said: “I read about it in a newspaper but Brian insisted  he did not know what incrimination meant.

“I’d supported him until we split up in January. And all that time he was blaming me, lying to my face.”

Penn’s trial heard from Professor Colin Smith, 53, who examined Kaleb’s brain after his death.

He said his injuries “are only seen in a setting of severe trauma — a fall from a height or road traffic incident”. 

There was also evidence of a previous brain bleed from seven to ten days before the child’s death.

Penn showed no emotion as he was found guilty of culpable homicide by violently shaking Kaleb along with blunt-force trauma and a separate charge of assault to severe injury and danger of life.

Sentence was deferred by judge Lord Weir, who remanded the monster in custody.

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