Lee Michael was formerly known as Lee Khair – and served time for the manslaughter of his own son
A Wirral man jailed for breaking a puppy’s jaw is a former soldier who changed his name after being jailed for the manslaughter of his own son, the ECHO can reveal.
Lee Michael, now 34, was 22 and known as Lee Khair when he was sentenced to seven years in prison for killing two-year-old Ryan Franklin-Khair.
Winchester Crown Court heard the tot had a brain injury and bruises all over his body while under the care of Michael, originally from Sheffield, at his girlfriend Catherine Franklin’s house in Dorset.
He told police he awoke at 5.30am to find Ryan at the bottom of a flight of stairs, and put him in the recovery position and tried to revive him.
The youngster was taken to Southampton General Hospital but never regained consciousness and died days later on May 29, 2002.
The trial heard Michael, who was stationed at Worthy Down Barracks in Winchester, told paramedics and hospital staff his son had fallen down a flight of stairs.
But he was jailed after a jury found him guilty at trial, and served three years of his sentence.
Michael, of no fixed address, is understood to have developed a career in fitness after his release from prison.
He was sentenced today at Wirral Magistrates’ Court over attacks on two animals, a black and tan female pug puppy called Babs and a grey male cat called Lary, in Thingwall.
District Judge Michael Abelson said: “The facts of this case have chilling echoes of the attack on his child which led to his death.”
Michael pleaded guilty plea to five charges of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal before skipping bail.
He was traced in London and brought back to Merseyside for sentencing. He was jailed for 24 weeks.
In a letter to the judge, Michael, who changed his name nine years ago, said the dog had been injured after he swiped him from the bed in his sleep. A vet’s report said the injuries were far more serious than would have been caused by falling from a bed.
The court heard Michael, who has worked across Wirral as a personal trainer, had pulled the cat from its hiding place behind the fridge by its tail, causing it to soil itself. He then turned the shower on it and it died two days later.
Michael told the court: “It’s taken me over 30 years to realise my faults in life and due to these things I know I am reckless and I shouldn’t be responsible for anything that requires extra care and focus. I apologize for all the negativity I’ve caused in my life.”
Michael was handed a lifetime ban from keeping animals. He was ordered to pay £2,424 costs and told probation would monitor him for 12 months after his release from prison. He was told this was the strictest sentence the law could impose on him.
Judge Abelson said: “I think you’re an extremely dangerous man. In the context of this case you’re one of the most dangerous men in relation to animals I’ve ever come across.”
Speaking about Michael’s disappearance to London, where he had been working under a different name, the judge said: “I believe quite simply you didn’t want to face justice. It was only through luck and good police work they tracked you down.”
[Source Story: HumansLovingAnimals ]