Phillip John Welsh admits throwing 17-month-old into a couch and killing him in Auckland

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A man has admitted to hurling his 17-month-old stepson against a sofa with the horrific injuries killing him days later.

Phillip John Welsh pleaded guilty to manslaughter after throwing Malcolm Robert Bell into the couch at a home in Auckland in June last year.

Upon appearing at the High Court on Tuesday, it was heard the 52-year-old had become angered by his partner, Savanna Bell, who left him alone with Malcolm while she went out with friends.

Welsh became furious he was being treated like the ‘babysitter’ and threw a crying Malcolm into the frame of the sofa before he crashed onto the floor.

Malcolm suffered severe injuries to his head and died six days later on June 29, 2019.

Phillip John Welsh pleaded guilty to manslaughter after throwing Malcolm Robert Bell (pictured) into the couch at a home in Auckland in June last year

Phillip John Welsh pleaded guilty to manslaughter after throwing Malcolm Robert Bell (pictured) into the couch at a home in Auckland in June last year

After throwing the baby, Welsh had told Ms Bell he came out of the bathroom to see Malcolm having a seizure, Stuff reported.

Malcolm was rushed to hospital but police intercepted a phone call between Welsh and Ms Bell.

Ms Bell said: ‘He was fine when I left’ to which Welsh replied: ‘Oh yeah, course he was, aye. You tell me what happened, Savanna? What’d you do to him before I even had him?’.

In other calls listened in on by police, Welsh said Ms Bell was to blame.

The family had been involved with child protection staff from Oranga Tamariki – a government department in New Zealand responsible for the wellbeing of children.

Medical experts claimed the force Malcolm was thrown into the couch was almost the equivalent of the force from a car crash.

Crown prosecutor Fiona Culliney said Welsh was more than a metre away from the couch when he threw Malcolm.

‘Mr Welsh picked up Malcolm and threw him with significant force at the couch, he did so out of anger and frustration,’ Ms Culliney said, TVNZ reported.

‘Malcolm hit the back of the couch which has a wooden frame covered by thin foam and fabric. There were no cushions on the couch at the time, which made the couch a harder surface than most couches.’

The High Court of Auckland (pictured) heard on Tuesday Malcolm's death came about an argument between his stepfather and his mother Savanna Bell

The High Court of Auckland (pictured) heard on Tuesday Malcolm’s death came about an argument between his stepfather and his mother Savanna Bell 

Malcolm was admitted to Auckland’s Starship Hospital in a critical condition with severe head injuries.

Police believed the baby’s death was non-accidental.

Malcolm had emergency surgery on his brain and Ms Culliney said if he survived he would have gone blind in both eyes due to the trauma.

‘Structures normally positioned in the middle of the brain were pushed to the left side by 10mm, the ventricle in the middle of the brain was almost completely flattened,’ she said.

Welsh was charged with murder in July last year.

He will face sentencing on October 30. 

Malcolm’s maternal uncle is convicted murderer, William Bell.

He killed three people and left another fighting for their life during a gun attack in 2001.

He was sentenced to life behind bars and will be eligible for parole in 2033 where he will be 55-years-old.  

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