Blackpool Woman jailed for manslaughter of her own baby has her sentence INCREASED

The original sentence was deemed to be too lenient.

From Blackpool Police – A mother jailed for the manslaughter of her baby daughter has had her sentence increased.

Caitlin Jones, 21, of Willowbank Avenue, Blackpool, was sentenced to five years and eight months in prison at Preston Crown Court in April for the manslaughter of eight-month-old Francesca Haworth.

The sentence was formally challenged by the police and Crown Prosecution Service and referred to the Attorney General.

Following a review, the Attorney General referred the matter to the Court of Appeal.

After a hearing today (Wednesday, June 16), Jones’s original sentence was quashed and has been increased to eight years in prison.

Police had called by the Ambulance Service around 7.30am on November 7, 2018, following reports a baby had been found unresponsive at an address on Frederick Street.

Emergency services attended with Francesca taken to Blackpool Victoria Hospital where she sadly later died.

A Home Office post-mortem gave a cause of death as suffocation.

Detectives launched an investigation into Francesca’s death and seized a number of items including Jones’ phone and iPad.

Expert analysis of these devices established that several searches had been conducted related to suffocating babies and whether you could be prosecuted if your baby was found suffocated.

At hospital, Jones had asked if she was going to be held responsible for Francesca’s death and provided inconsistent information to police about how she had found her daughter in her cot.

Jones was arrested and later charged with murder in July 2020.

However, following consultation with the Crown Prosecution Service, a guilty plea to manslaughter was accepted.

Det Ch Insp Gareth Willis, of Lancashire Police, said: “This brings to an end proceedings in an extremely emotive and difficult investigation.

“Three senior judges at the Court of Appeal reviewed the original sentence handed down to Caitlin Jones following a referral from the Attorney General after concerns it was unduly lenient.

“We recognise the impact the original sentence had on the public and negativity from the wider community. We can now say the detailed circumstances of the case have been scrutinised by three Court of Appeal judges and this is their assessment.

“The death of Francesca Haworth was utterly tragic, heart-breaking and wholly avoidable.

“My thoughts remain with Francesca’s father and her family and while no sentence can ever bring Francesca back, I hope the conclusion of proceedings will at least allow them to attempt to move forward with their lives.”

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