James Davis, 35, was today found guilty and sentenced for death by dangerous driving after he crashed into a premature infant’s pram at 67mph leaving his parents Camaron Morris and Codie Holyman devastated
A man has been found guilty of causing death by dangerous driving of a two-week old baby killed on Easter Sunday last year.
James Davis, 35, was found guilty today at Wolverhampton Crown Court after jurors deliberated for two hours and six minutes.
Davis was also found guilty of causing the death of two-week-old Ciaran Morris by driving while uninsured on April 4, 2021.
He was sentenced to six and a half years in prison.
Passing sentence on the 35-year-old, Judge John Butterfield QC said Davis had not attempted to brake or steer before the collision which led to the death of Ciaran Morris on Easter Sunday last year.
The judge told Davis: “As you drove along your allowed yourself to be avoidably distracted.
“I am sure that it was some operation of your phone because what was to happen afterwards with your phone is so highly suspicious.”
The judge also remarked on the “cruelness of fate” of the crash, which happened as Ciaran was being walked in his pram for the first time, while Davis had taken a longer route due to nice weather.
Parents Camaron Morris and Codie Holyman, both 18 at the time, watched in horror as the car mounted the kerb and pinned the pram against a wall in Walsall, West Midlands.
Witnesses tried to save the 18-day-old baby, but he sadly died in hospital – while mum Codie suffered a broken collar bone, bruised foot and has constant back pain since the crash.
A family friend said it was one of Ciaran’s first outings with his family since he was born four-weeks premature.
At the crash site, a woman who claimed to be his aunt heartbreakingly said: “He was four weeks premature, so he shouldn’t even have been here.”
Ciaran’s family wept in court as they watched harrowing CCTV footage of the crash.
Jurors heard the BMW collided with a white Ford before racing into the pram and pinning it against a shop wall.
James Curtis, QC, prosecuting, said Davis fled the scene before telling a passerby he had “killed a baby.”
The witness added David said he would be “going down for a long time.”
In the aftermath of the horror smash, frantic dad Camaron was heard to scream at Davis: “You just killed my son.”
Both parents also cried out “the baby, the baby” as they frantically tried to revive their son on the pavement.
Davis then called police and claimed he had passed out at the wheel after suffering a coughing fit, jurors heard.
The driver was later found to have traces of cannabis in his system after he was arrested at his girlfriend’s house shortly after the crash.
Mr Curtis said: “A BMW saloon was driving in Brownhills, which was full of shoppers and passersby, driving conditions were perfect, he did a manoeuvre which proved fatal.
“He saw over the center line he was doing at least the driving limit and hit an oncoming car, the BMW swerved in a curve and onto the opposite pavement.
“There a couple were walking their new baby, the car hit the pram and caused fatal injuries to head and body of the child, who died in hospital later that day.
“The defendant got out of his car and ran off on foot, down an alleyway, past a petrol station and through some undergrowth.
“Once at a safe distance, I approached a passerby saying he killed a baby and was going down for a long time.
“He dialed 999 and was arrested in due course.
“The only explanation he gave was he had a coughing fit and passed out. He then gave no comment to all questions at the police station.”
Chilling footage released by police following the verdict shows the moment Davis lost control of his BMW and ploughed towards baby Ciaran.
CCTV captured Davis first clipping a car coming in the opposite direction before veering towards the pavement where parents Camaron and Codie were walking with their newborn.
In the aftermath of the smash, Davis can be seen getting out of his vehicle and running away from the scene before he was later arrested by police.
Police bodycam footage played to the court showed Davis telling PC Tom Rust as he was arrested: “A baby, f***s sake. I’m sorry. I blacked out, I was doing 20mph.
“I weren’t even speeding or nothing. I blacked out. I ain’t killed no one on purpose. F*****g hell man.
“Injuries to my legs are from running through the bushes. I knew I passed because I knew it was happening, it was like a dream.
“I was thinking I’d wake up in a minute. I heard the banging and that. When it all stopped, I was in the car and I thought what’s happening like.
“I was surrounded by people. My mate said I was passed out behind the wheel.
“If I was speeding I would be in some state wouldn’t I? I accept I’m going to prison if somebody’s died.
“People were screaming ‘I killed a baby’ so I just wanted to see my baby before I go.”
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Davis previously claimed to have blacked out before the BMW he was driving hit Ciaran’s pram in High Street in Brownhills, near Walsall, on Easter Sunday last year.
Mr Curtis said experts had looked at whether Davis could have had a heart malfunction.
But he said: “He was fully fit, heavily built and he was clear-headed enough to invent an excuse.
“This was a classic intentional distraction with fatal consequences, nor was there any mechanical defect on the car.”
Judge John Butterfield QC remanded Davis from Walsall, in custody until a sentencing at 2.15pm.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.