Law Courts, Birmingham`Queen Elizabeth Law Courts

Daniel Sanzone, aged 23, from Pendeford in Wolverhampton has today (03/11) been sentenced to a minimum of 15 years imprisonment for killing his defenceless newborn baby son.

Sanzone was found guilty of the murder and child cruelty of two-week-old Joshua Millinson, who died from catastrophic head injuries.


Joshua died after spending a month on life support following the assault in October 2015.

The child’s mother, Zoe Howell, aged 19, was cleared of causing or allowing the death of Joshua, following a four week trial at Birmingham Crown Court.

Joshua, who was born on October 11, 2015, died four weeks after being rushed to hospital after suffering a cardiac arrest at home.

Doctors examining him found he had sustained severe head injuries caused most likely by being shaken with force and he died after spending a month in intensive care.

Joshua was also found to have suffered multiple fractures to his legs and ribs, bruising to his head and body and both his eye retinas had become detached through being shaken.

His parents were originally arrested on suspicion of assault and later charged in connection with Joshua’s death.

The court heard Sanzone and Howell had been in a relationship for 18 months and at the time of Joshua’s assault, had been ’taking a break’ although still living together.

Joshua had been taken to hospital twice in his short life by his parents, once as they were concerned about a rash and another time due to a possible leg injury. However, the first time they self-discharged and the second time they failed to follow up medical appointments.

On the day of the fatal injury, Howell claimed Sanzone had been left in the lounge with Joshua while she was in the kitchen. After hearing a loud thud, she rushed in to find him screaming. Sanzone claimed the noise was caused by sliding the sofa back against the wall.

(Footage from inside the house)

An ambulance was called to the address and Joshua was taken to New Cross Hospital and then transferred to Birmingham Children’s Hospital where he remained until he died on 21 November, 2015.

(Excerpt from the 999 call made by Zoe Howell’s mother)

Detective Inspector Jim Munro said: “This is a tragic case. Joshua was a totally vulnerable newborn child requiring complete love and care. It is horrifying to think of the violence and suffering he must have endured in his short life by a father who was supposed to look after and protect him.

“It is clear from the injuries Joshua suffered that Sanzone had repeatedly physically abused Joshua during his short life before inflicting the final fatal injury.”