A father who admitted fatally assaulting his 11-year-old son in Heanor has been jailed for 21 years and six months.
Michael Harrison attacked his son Mikey at an address Heanor on 18 June 2022.
In an attempt to cover up his assault, he drove the critically injured boy across the town to Thorpes Road, near Shipley Park, where he rang for an ambulance.
The 41-year-old told paramedics that Mikey had fallen from a tree in the park while the pair were playing hide and seek.
In reality the injuries were actually as a result of a sustained assault by Harrison – the reason for which has never been revealed.
Initially Harrison denied the charge of murder, before admitting the manslaughter of Mikey – something the prosecution did not accept.
Eventually, with the weight of evidence against him clear, he made a sudden decision earlier this year to admit that he had murdered Mikey.
Today (18 May) at Derby Crown Court, Harrison, previously of Eaton Terrace, Nottingham, was handed a life sentence and must serve at least 21 years and six months in prison before he is eligible for parole.
A further charge of engaging in coercive and controlling behaviour was ordered to lie on file.
Detective Inspector Paul Bullock, from the Major Crime Unit, said: “Mikey Harrison was killed by the very person that he should have been safest with, his own father.
“Michael Harrison has never given an account for why he killed Mikey but his conduct on the day of the tragic events makes it abundantly clear that his primary interest was his own freedom and not the life of his own son.
“We now know the truth, that Mikey was killed by Harrison after a brutal assault that left him with the most serious of injuries. Harrison a strong, fully grown man would have been under no illusion that Mikey was anything other than seriously injured.
“Instead of seeking the medical help that he clearly, so badly needed, he attempted to concoct a story that Mikey had fallen from a tree in a nearby park. Even driving there to ring the ambulance service in an attempt to make his story believable.
“The fact Mikey’s life was tragically cut short at the hands of someone who was meant to love and care for him, is heart-breaking and unfathomable. It has left his family utterly devastated and I would like to personally thank them for their strength and courage during this harrowing investigation.
“I would also like to personally thank the Crown Prosecution Service and every one of the investigation team, their dedication and attention to detail secured justice for Mikey and ensured that Harrison had no other option than to finally admit the truth after his constant lies. The impact on everyone who has had any involvement in this case has been huge.
“Today our thoughts are with Mikey’s family. His death at such a young age is beyond comprehension. I would like to pass on both my own, and the wider force’s, continued condolences. I would also like to appeal on their behalf that their privacy is respected at this time.
“While no sentence will ever bring Mikey back, I hope that today goes some way to providing a degree of closure and allows them to focus on the love they had for Mikey which will live on with them forever.”
James Whyley from the CPS said: “Mikey’s death was a tragic waste of life, caused by his own father in a senseless, brutal attack. It is difficult to understand how someone can use such uncontrolled violence against a child who looks to them for protection, let alone the callous way he tried to cover his tracks instead of seeking medical treatment.
“Our thoughts are with Mikey’s loved ones who have to deal with the tragic loss of a much-loved young boy and the manner in which he died. My heart goes out to them for their loss.”