A dad accused of murdering his baby son has told a court he lied to protect the child’s mother.
Kane Kennedy, 20, told police and social workers he had fallen asleep on the sofa with seven-month-old Oskar Kennedy-Jobey and woken to find him unresponsive.
But taking to the witness box at Preston Crown Court, Kennedy told the jury he was not in the same room as his son when the little boy stopped breathing and had lied to police in a bid to save his partner, Tia Jobey, 19.
He said: “I thought it was my duty as a father to protect the people I love.
“I’d just lost my son. I didn’t want to lose anyone else.”
The young couple from Morecambe continued their relationship following the death of Oskar on October 1 last year.
In February they learned they were expecting a second child but just two weeks later Kennedy was arrested on suspicion of murder.
He said: “I guess it felt like we had lost our purpose. Tia wanted the chance to be a mother again and I wanted to be a father again.”
But after the baby was born, Kennedy changed his story and told police he had been asleep in the bedroom while Tia and Oskar slept on the sofa together in the living room at their flat in Balmoral Road.
He woke to Jobey bursting into the bedroom carrying the tot and told her to go and get her mother, who lived across the road, while he called 999.
Jobey’s mum Tara and paramedics attempted to resuscitate Oskar and he was transferred to the Royal Lancaster Infirmary, where he was pronounced dead.
A post mortem revealed Oskar died from smothering and he had non-accidental injuries to his genitals, mouth and oesophagus.
In October 2016 Jobey gave birth to a second child.
A few weeks later he changed his story and said he had been in a separate room when Jobey discovered their son was not breathing.
He said: “I don’t want to do a life sentence for a crime I didn’t commit. I have got a son now and I want a chance to be a father again.”
Under cross examination, Peter Reid QC asked Kennedy about a number of Facebook messages in which Jobey said she feared for her son’s safety if Kennedy did not stop smoking cannabis.
But Kennedy said: “I have never touched him in the wrong way, ever. I was never angry or aggressive to Oskar in any way.”
He said Jobey was making the statements to make him look bad.
Kennedy denies murder. The trial continues.