A Corunna man who admitted to shaking his two-month old to death has been sentenced to six months in prison.
Nathan Watson was charged one year after his son, Liam’s death in Aug. 2019 and pled guilty to manslaughter in May.
Watson first told police he left the child with a sibling while he went to make a bottle and returned to find him lifeless. Later he said he’d had his foot on a bouncy chair the baby was sitting in, shaking it. Later, he admitted he’d actually picked up the crying Liam, shook him and asked him what he wanted.
Watson’s lawyer, Ken Marley, suggested during the pre sentencing hearing that his client was also in emotional turmoil over the death of his son. And he says a psychological report showed Watson “was experiencing significant situational and psycho social stress, lacking in impulse control, coping skills in support,” when he was left alone with Liam. “He was quite likely overwhelmed and in a state of emotional turmoil.”
Marley says evidence from an OPP officer who covertly befriended Watson in an attempt to figure out what really happened, shows the accused was remorseful about his son’s death.
But Crown Attorney David Rowes disputed that, saying it took Watson three attempts to come out with the truth of how his own son died. “It was only when the accused was arrested that we approach the version of events that most resembles the truth,” Rowes said, at the time noting it was a “convoluted route to the truth.”
Rowes added Liam “was two months of age at the time of his death and the accused had that a duty of care to this child – to care for him and protect him – and that he failed and that he breached the trust of Liam Watson.”
“Liam was two months old, he was not able to experience the joys that life has to offer; growing up, going to school, finding a partner having children of his own. His life was cut short after only two months.”
Rowes had asked for an eight year prison term while Watson’s lawyer wanted a two year conditional sentence.
Justine Deborah Austin delivered a sentence Jan. 5 of six years in prison. Watson will get credit for about six months he’s already served waiting for the outcome of the court proceedings.
He’ll serve his sentence at Joyceville Federal Penitentiary in Kingston. He’s also banned from owning weapons for 10 years and must submit his DNA to the federal registry.