An 11-week-old baby was killed by his father, despite warnings from
hospital staff that the boy should be taken into care.
The decision to allow Caleb Ness home was taken at a social work
case conference even though an experienced nurse expressed concerns
about his father.
Alexander Ness already had convictions for violent assault while
his mother, Shirley Malcolm, had two other children in care owing
to drug abuse. Two months after going home, Caleb was killed by his
At the High Court in Edinburgh last week, Alexander Ness admitted
killing Caleb by squeezing and shaking him on occasions between 2
and 18 October, 2001. The prosecution accepted a plea to the lesser
charge of culpable homicide on the grounds of diminished
responsibility as a result of brain damage he sustained in an
accident two years ago.