By Danielle Kutchel
A man found guilty of shaking his then-partner’s baby in Cranbourne West, causing the child’s death, has been sentenced to eight and a half years in prison.
Jesse Vinaccia, who was 22 at the time of the offence, was sentenced in the Supreme Court on Monday 14 October, more than three years after the child’s death.
In his sentencing remarks, Justice Michael Croucher noted Vinaccia’s extensive admissions to police and the remorse he had expressed, including a suicide attempt following the baby’s death, despite entering a not-guilty plea.
Justice Croucher also noted Vinaccia’s “good prospects of rehabilitation”.
The court found that on the evening of 23 January 2016, Kaleb Baylis-Clarke was found unresponsive in his cot by Vinaccia, who had been caring for him while his mother, Erin Baylis-Clarke was at work.
Vinaccia was in a relationship with Ms Baylis-Clarke at the time and lived with them in Cranbourne West.
The infant was rushed to the Monash Medical Centre and placed on life support. While he had no external injuries, he did have serious brain injuries and bleeding in both retinas which examiners concluded had been caused by violent shaking.
Vinaccia later admitted to police that he had “grabbed [Kaleb] off … his [mat] with a bit of force”; that he may have “shaken [Kaleb] with … quite significant force”; that he put him down in his cot “pretty rough”; and that he was “frustrated” at the time after a conversation with Kaleb’s father.
Kaleb died on 30 January 2016 after his life support was switched off.
Vinaccia was found guilty of child homicide in June this year.
Vinaccia must serve at five and a half years before being eligible for parole.