Sadist killed baby in sickening campaign of abuse, court told

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A drug addict who tortured and murdered his partner’s baby son in a sickening, months-long campaign of sadistic abuse is facing a life sentence. Jake Drummond, 33, of no fixed address threw 15-month-old Jacob Lennon to the ground with such force it caused injuries consistent with him being hurled from a first-floor window, hit him repeatedly and burned him with hair removal cream, the Old Bailey was told.

Little Jacob had both cannabis and cocaine in his bloodstream because Drummond and Jake’s mother, Louise Lennon, 32, of Ingrave Street, Wandsworth, used such vast amounts of drugs. He had been placed under a child protection plan under the category of emotional abuse but the couple just cancelled meetings with social workers.

Drummond, who spent £120 a day on cocaine and cannabis, smoking up to 15 joints a day, the court heard.

In his stoned daze he spent weeks sadistically beating Jacob, leaving the baby’s eyes so badly swollen he looked like a panda.

He also prodded a knife into the baby’s genitals and deliberately burned his forehead with hair removal cream.

Drummond launched his final, fatal attack when he was in a jealous fury with his ex-partner, who was trying to start a new life without him.

Hours earlier he had received a caution for harassing her after she stopped him from seeing their two daughters.

Lennon and Drummond, who told the court they believed the cuts to Jacob’s genitals were caused by another child with a plastic Mr Potato Head knife, had swapped texts about putting Jacob in a “torture chamber”, with Lennon referring to him as “looking like a little madman because of his bruises”.

Drummond denied murder and Lennon denied causing or allowing the death of a child but they were found guilty by a jury today.

Drummond also denied but was convicted of wounding with intent in relation to earlier injuries. Lennon admitted to a charge of child cruelty last week.

The former couple stood emotionless in the dock as the verdict was delivered.

Lennon, also a daily cannabis user, called an ambulance to their flat in Putney, southwest London, at 6am on 27 August 2019. The couple told paramedics the baby had fallen from his cot.

He was pronounced dead less than two hours later at St George’s Hospital in Tooting.

A post-mortem examination found injuries consistent with horrendous long-term abuse including 34 different marks across his body.

The injuries to the brain and eyes were “akin to those seen in high-speed road traffic collisions or falls from a significant height of more than one storey”, the court was told.

Lennon even posed her child for photographs with Snapchat filters despite them showing the horrific bruising across his head and his cut lip.

She never took him to the doctors for his injuries, and just bought him Aloe Vera cream for his bruises.

Lennon said she believed Drummond when he said they had been caused by Jacob banging his own head against the floor.

However, Drummond told the court Lennon was “a manipulative conniving girl” who neglected and then killed her own child.

On 20 August, a week before Jacob’s death, Lennon texted Drummond: “Jacob looks like a lil mad man still lol sure hell be OK by Friday,” along with a photo of Jacob showing his cut lip and a baseball cap obscuring his bruising. Drummond replied: “Fingers crossed”.

Jacob was under the protection plan but Lennon cancelled a visit from a social worker on 20 August because she did not want her to see her son’s bruises.

Drummond had a job at his daughter’s nursery when he split up with the mother of his two girls, Julie Sanders, in 2019.

Giving evidence Ms Sanders said Drummond had strangled and attacked her in the early stages of their relationship. Drummond had still been sleeping with Ms Sanders whilst in a relationship with Lennon, and told the court he wanted to get back with her.

Drummond said he was taking more cocaine than usual at this time as a “coping mechanism” to make him “happier”. He had been taking cannabis since the age of 11.

Lennon’s lawyer Jane Bickerstaff said Drummond took the fact his life was falling apart out on Jacob.

Giving evidence to the court Drummond said: “I’m not to blame for it. I did not touch him.” He told the barrister he had repeatedly advised Lennon to seek medical attention for Jacob but she refused.

Lennon sobbed as prosecutor Sally O’Neill showed her photographs she had taken of her son where his injuries got progressively worse, including severe bruising across his head, a cut lip and the patch of hair that had been removed by hair removal cream.

She said that she saw some of the injuries to Jacob’s genitals but did not see the worst injury, a cut.

Ms O’Neill earlier told jurors: “Jake Drummond had embarked on a campaign of deliberately assaulting and hurting Jacob between July and the end of August. The injuries which he caused were obvious and noticeable.

“Lucy Lennon tried to explain them away by fabricating accidental causes for them when it must have been apparent to her that it was Jake Drummond who was causing them.”

She continued: “His eyes were so swollen they were unable to open them. Beneath his eyes was so darkly bruised, he looked like a panda.”

They will be sentenced on 24 April.

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