I watched my baby die in my arms after my stepdad shook her to death – I’ll never recover but he’ll be freed in 3 years | The SunAugust 18, 2022
WATCHING her little girl die in her arms, Jade Davies felt her entire world come crashing down.
Little did she realise then that the catastrophic injuries baby Rose Whelan had suffered had been at the hands of her own grandad.
The five-month-old was left brain dead and put on life support after Jade's stepdad, Richard Loasby, 41, violently shook her while babysitting her one night in December 2018.
Rose's injuries were so severe they were compared to an impact of a car crash.
After initially claiming Rose had choked on some milk, Loasby eventually admitted to manslaughter in November 2020. He was jailed for just six years and four months at Northampton Crown Court.
Now Rose's parents, Jade, 24, and Adam Whelan, 29, have launched a petition calling for stiffer sentences for child killers, hoping to gain 100,000 signatures so it can be considered for debate in Parliament.
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Mother-of-two Jade, from Northampton, tells The Sun: “My helpless baby girl lost her life to senseless violence. Yet my stepdad will be free to live his in two years.
"Where is the justice for Rose? Six years is not enough. We want tougher sentences to reflect the horrific crime of manslaughter against victims under 18.
“At the moment, the minimum sentence for certain manslaughter cases is one year. It’s not enough for taking a child’s life.
“We’d like to see a change in law to ensure monsters like Richard receive the punishment they deserve.”
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Jade met Loasby when she was 10. She recalls: “Growing up, my real dad wasn’t in the picture, so after Richard and my mum got together, he quickly became a father figure to me.
“He treated me like his own.”
When Jade had her second child, Rose, in July 2018, Loasby was the doting granddad.
He’d often watch Jade’s children while she popped to the shops or tended to her horses at the stables.
She says: "Rose was such a happy baby and loved Richard. I’d always see her giggling when he held her.
“Whenever I’d visit, he’d scoop her up into a big hug.”
As a father himself, Jade never doubted Loasby's ability to care for her children.
She happily left him to look after Rose while she went out to the bingo with her mum and friends, and partner Adam, an HGV driver, was at work.
She says: “Richard was babysitting the kids and I told him Rose needed a bottle at 7pm. She was asleep when I left at 6pm.”
But just half an hour later, Jade received a panicked call from her stepdad.
She says: “Richard told me that he was giving Rose a bottle and she choked on the milk and wasn’t breathing.
“It didn’t sink in what he was saying. He told me to get to the hospital as he’d called an ambulance.”
When Jade arrived at Northampton General Hospital A&E, Rose was whisked into a room where medics worked on her.
Jade says: “I wasn’t allowed in at first. Ten minutes later I went in and saw her hooked up to beeping machines.
“Her eyes were shut and she looked lifeless.”
A nurse explained that Rose had suffered a bleed on the brain, and they suspected she had been assaulted.
Jade says: "I insisted they were wrong. As far as I knew, she’d just choked on some milk.”
Soon after, police and child protection officers turned up and interviewed Jade, her mum and Adam.
She says: “We were told we couldn’t see Rose and were basically treated like suspects. My only concern was being there for my little girl.”
Soon after, Rose was blue-lighted to Nottingham Children’s Hospital where she was admitted to intensive care.
A nurse told us Rose was brain dead. Adam and I couldn’t accept it, and begged them to keep her alive
Jade says: “When we arrived, a consultant took us into a side room and explained that Rose didn’t have any chance of survival and there was nothing they could do.
“He said that she was brain dead. Adam and I couldn’t accept it, and begged them to keep her alive.
“I couldn’t understand how a baby choking on some milk would kill them.”
Meanwhile Loasby was arrested for GBH while police continued their investigation.
A few hours later, Jade and Adam were taken into a private room to spend precious time with their daughter before she died.
Jade says: “We had just three hours to say goodbye to our baby girl.
“I can’t describe how it felt. It was like I was in a waking nightmare.
“Eventually, the machine was switched off and Rose died in my arms. In that moment, my whole world came crashing down.”
A few days later the police visited the couple to share the results of Rose’s post-mortem.
They explained that Rose had suffered a huge haemorrhage and they suspected it was as a result of being severely shaken.
Six years for killing a baby? It’s disgusting. Rose’s life was stolen, and he gets to walk free after three years. I’ll never be able to hold my baby girl again
Jade says: “They told us Richard had been arrested on suspicion of murder. We were all in total shock.
“I couldn’t believe my stepdad would kill my daughter. But it was there in black and white. We were devastated.”
Loasby pleaded guilty to manslaughter, but has never revealed why he harmed Rose.
Now her parents are urging people to sign and share the petition, which has nearly 1,000 signatures, on social media.
Jade says: “Six years for killing a baby? It’s disgusting. Rose’s life was stolen, and he gets to walk free after three years. I’ll never be able to hold my baby girl again.
“Rose was in the care of a trusted family member and he hurt a helpless child and never explained why.
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“There is no justice for Rose, and Richard destroyed our family.”
To sign the petition click here.
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