A father has been jailed for life for the assault and murder of his three-month-old son in Bournemouth on 28 March 2017.
Robert Hinz was sentenced today, 4 May, at Winchester Crown Court and was told he would have to serve a minimum of 21 years in prison before he would be considered for parole.
The 34-year-old of Carysfort Road in the town was found guilty on 28 March 2017 of the murder of baby Julian Hinz following a 12-day trial at Winchester Crown Court. He was also convicted of two counts of causing grievous bodily harm with intent and one count of causing grievous bodily harm without intent.
The court heard that at around 3.20pm on Friday 8 April 2016 a call was made to the ambulance service reporting that a baby had stopped breathing at a flat on Carysfort Road.
Paramedics attended and found baby Julian Hinz unresponsive and took him to the Royal Bournemouth Hospital. Julian was then transferred to Southampton General Hospital’s Paediatric Intensive Care Unit. He was found to have significant head injuries, as well as injuries to his collar bone and ribs.
Sadly, despite the best efforts of medical staff, Julian was pronounced dead at 5.10am on Saturday 9 April 2016.
The court was told that Julian died as a result of severe blunt force impact head injury as a result of being thrown vigorously onto a blunt object or surface and that his father was responsible.
On the day of the murder Julian had been put in his cot to sleep by his mother, before she went out shopping. She described Julian as being in a healthy condition before she left, prosecutors said.
The cot was located in the parents’ bedroom and Hinz had been sleeping on a bed near to the cot at the time.
Around 15 minutes later Hinz was heard shouting “call an ambulance he is not breathing”. Julian’s uncle entered the room and phoned the emergency services. Hinz proceeded to give the baby CPR, the court heard.
Neighbours described hearing shouting, voices arguing and a loud thud around the time of the incident, the court was told.
When paramedics arrived, they found Julian to be in cardiac arrest and not breathing. The baby was given CPR and oxygen before being taken to hospital.
Prosecutors told the court that Hinz was seen punching a wall with his fist before throwing a cupboard door across the room and was told to stop and to help the paramedics.
When police arrived, Hinz was seen attempting to get into his car to follow the ambulance, however was stopped by officers as one could smell alcohol on his breath. He was escorted to hospital by officers.
In addition to the head trauma that caused Julian’s death, doctors also discovered various other injuries on his body. Significant force would have been required to cause the bruising and fracturing that had occurred in the days, weeks and months prior to his death.
Detective Inspector Richard Dixey, of Dorset Police’s Major Crime Investigation Team, said: “This was a truly appalling crime. Julian Hinz was only three months old, but in his short life had been subjected to acts of violence by his own father, someone with whom he should have been safe.
“This violence ultimately culminated in Julian being murdered on the 8 April 2016. Robert Hinz was unable to control his anger and aggression and this cost Julian his life.
“My thoughts are now with Julian’s mother and family who have lost Julian and will never know what type of boy and man he might have grown up to be. I can only hope that the conviction and sentencing of Mr Hinz may, in some small way, assist them in moving on with their lives.
“I would like to pay tribute to all officers and staff involved in the investigation who worked tirelessly to achieve some justice for baby Julian.”
If you think a child is being abused or neglected, please report your concerns at www.dorset.police.uk and follow the ‘Do it online’ function. Here you can pass all the details of your concerns to us via the online enquiry form. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 101. If you believe a child is in immediate danger, please dial 999.
A Serious Case Review begun last year overseen by the Local Safeguarding Children’s Board. It remains underway to determine if the decisions and actions undertaken by the various agencies involved during Julian Hinz’s short life could have prevented his death and whether there are lessons to be learned.