THE JUDGE in the Dallas Kelly murder case has commended the work of the police investigation team.

As with all murder cases, the detectives and other officers involved spent many months trawling through detailed phone records and medical findings to build the case against Reece Kelly.

The team also gathered the evidence needed to show that the four-month-old - injured previously by his father - was a victim of cruelty by both his parents, whose focus was on finding illicit drugs rather than his welfare.

Kelly, 31, initially denied any wrongdoing but then, on day two of his Carlisle Crown Court trial, he admitted manslaughter, accepting his actions killed his son.

He still denied intending to cause Dallas serious harm.

Even that admission, the court heard, failed to reflect the awful truth - how on October 15, 2021, while 'rattling' with drug withdrawal and irritated by his son's crying, Kelly snapped, violently shaking his baby son "to death." 

His murder conviction came after detectives built up a disturbing picture of how Dallas's parents were so addicted to illegal opiates that they prioritised sourcing the pills they needed from dealers above caring for Dallas.

The team of prosecution lawyers and barristers who presented the case had to marshal vast quantities of evidence.

It included months of phone records, video footage from a nursery camera, detailed health visitor records, and – perhaps most importantly – distressing expert medical evidence.

Despite the scale of the investigation, it took the jury just over three hours to find Kelly guilty of murder and child cruelty, and Wright guilty of child cruelty. She was cleared of causing or allowing her son’s death.

“This was a tragic end to Dallas’s short life,” said Victoria Agulló, Senior Crown Prosecutor for CPS North West, commenting after Kelly was jailed for life with an 18 year minimum term and Wright for three years.

“Dallas should have been safe with his parents whose duty was to love and care for him and protect him from harm.

“Both his parents let him down badly. Their chaotic, drug filled lifestyle and lack of basic care is staggering.

“This is a case that will stay with me. I can only hope that those that loved and cared for Dallas can feel some sense of justice with the outcome of this case.”

Detective Superintendent Jenny Beattie, who led the investigation into Dallas’ death, said: “Dallas was a four-month-old boy who was entirely defenceless from the actions of his parents, Reece Kelly and Georgia Wright.  

“Any child, particularly one as young as Dallas, should have parents who care deeply for them and act in their child’s best interest at all times. Sadly, this was not the case for Dallas.

“There is never any excuse or reason to cause harm or distress to a child and I am pleased that both Reece Kelly and Georgia Wright have been held accountable for their actions.  

“Both had numerous opportunities to take responsibility for what they had done; however right until the end they have both continued to act in a selfish manner. 

“I would like to, once again, thank everybody involved throughout the criminal justice process in relation to this case.

“The evidence our investigation team uncovered has been expertly presented by prosecuting counsel Mr Richard Littler KC and Mr Tim Evans and prepared by the Crown Prosecution Service.

“The jury, who listened to and assessed emotive evidence, have diligently conducted their role in reviewing the facts of this case and coming to their conclusion.

“Our role was to investigate what had happened to Dallas, to establish the facts and to bring any offender to justice. This has been a complex investigation, one which includes distressing detail on how two people could be so cruel to their child. 

“I would also like to put on record my thanks to those in our investigation team. The work they have done has led to justice being secured for Dallas.” 

Also commended were Detective Superintendent Beattie’s colleagues Detective Inspector Suzanne Redikin, who was the Deputy Senior Investigating Officer in the case,  DS Beth Casson, and DC Rachael McKenna.