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Father who murdered his child sentenced to life imprisonment

A father from Broadstairs who murdered his six-week-old son has been jailed for life.

Lee Vernon, 21, of no fixed address, was found guilty of murder and two counts of grevious bodily harm after inflicting fatal head injuries on his son, McKenzie Ellis. He died at a London Hospital in July 2018.

“This was a complex and deeply emotional case”


Detective Chief Inspector Richard Vickery, Kent Police’s investigating officer for this case, said: ‘It is impossible to comprehend the unnecessary suffering McKenzie endured during his short life and I am pleased Vernon has received a substantial sentence that means he is not able to harm another child.

‘This was a complex and deeply emotional case and I am grateful to the medical experts, and my investigation team, who worked tirelessly to pursue justice for McKenzie.’

McKenzie Ellis was only six weeks old when his dad murdered him.

Vernon called the emergency services on July 23rd 2018 to report his son was unconscious and he didn’t know why. When asked whether the child had hurt himself he replied: “No, not really.”

Medical crew discovered McKenzie suffered trauma to his head and three days later he died at a specialist trauma unit.

In a police interview Vernon said McKenzie had accidentally fallen from his grip, resulting in the child hitting his head on the arm of a sofa before falling to the floor.

However, medical experts disclosed McKenzie had suffered multiple injuries that would have been caused on at least two previous occasions.

Vernon was sentenced to a minimum term of 16 years in jail on Friday 29 November at Maidstone Crown Court, following a trial in October 2019.