Man jailed for killing baby 45 years ago

(Last Updated On: July 31, 2021)

A man has been jailed for killing his two-week-old baby daughter in Plymouth 45 years ago.

Terence McArthur, 67, from Rochdale was sentenced to nine years in prison at Exeter Crown Court.

McArthur confessed to the murder whilst be treated in hospital in 2017, telling a nurse he had shaken and killed 14-day-old Tracy when she would not stop screaming, and that it had been considered a cot death at the time. The conviction comes after complex four-year enquiry led by Devon and Cornwall Police’s Major Crime Investigation Team.

Detective Inspector Stephanie Blundell, of the Major Crime Investigation Team, welcomed today’s sentence and said: “This has been a protracted and complex enquiry, undertaken over four years, regarding the unlawful killing of a two-week-old baby in 1976 by her father.

“The detailed and meticulous investigation gathered witness and medical evidence; the strength of which left McArthur with no choice but to plead guilty on 22 June, just two weeks prior to the scheduled trial.

“I would like to pass my thanks to the witnesses in this case – who were ready and prepared to attend court to give their evidence – for their support and assistance to the investigation.

“In particular, I pass my thanks to Tracy’s family, who have demonstrated great patience, courage and understanding throughout the enquiry. I hope that today’s sentence helps to bring some closure to the tragic loss they have suffered.”

Linda Wilks, Tracy’s mother, said: “I would like to thank my family and friends for supporting me through all of this, and Devon and Cornwall police who have worked hard to get justice for Tracy after 45 years.”

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