A grieving mum branded her ex-lover a “monster” today after he was jailed for seven years for killing their one-month-old baby.
Benjamin Roach, 24, shook helpless Roxie Hopkins-Roach and threw her down so violently that she suffered severe brain injuries.
The heavily-tattooed dad claimed he merely dropped her – but experts said the tot’s wounds were similar to those seen in car crashes.
Anguished mum Kelly Hopkins, 23, was at Plymouth Crown Court in Devon to see Roach jailed for killing her “perfect angel”.
She said of his manslaughter conviction: “He is a monster. I hope he rots – I don’t think he has realised how much he has destroyed my life.”
Jurors at Roach’s trial heard Ms Hopkins left him to look after Roxie as she nipped to the supermarket on September 23, 2010.
When she got home minutes later she found paramedics at her door and her daughter fighting for her life inside.
Roxie’s life support machine was switched off the following day – less than a month after she was born on August 27.
The little girl suffered retinal haemorrhaging and bleeding within her skull and brain. Had she survived she would have been blind and brain damaged.
Jobless Roach first tried to pass off the mite’s wounds as being caused by a cold.
He later confessed to dropping Roxie on to a carpet – but claimed it was an accident and that he only shook her to try to revive her.
Doctors, however, told the court her injuries could not have been an accident and jurors convicted Roach of manslaughter.
Bernard Tetlow, defending, said Roach was a loving parent who would live with the “burden of guilt” for the rest of his life.
Jailing the dad for seven years, Judge Graham Cottle told Roach: “The injuries were described by one of the witnesses in the case as some of the worst he has seen.
“It was the injuries of a child being very violently shaken and deliberately thrown or dropped. Only you know what happened but ever since you have evaded the truth.
“Nearly three years have now gone by and you have continued to deny Kelly and others the opportunity to have some closure over Roxie’s death.
“You have been concerned only by covering your own self. Your response has been unforgivable.”
Ms Hopkins said the guilty verdict meant Roxie could now rest in peace.
She said: “It will be difficult for me to trust anyone again. I have not been able to move on with other relationships. He has never apologised to me.
“The justice I have fought for, finding the truth about what happened to Roxie, and knowing she is now in a better place, has been all I’ve wanted. And now I can finally say I have achieved it.”