A childminder who lost her temper and shook a 10-month-old baby boy to death after ‘something snapped’ has been jailed for four years.
Viktoria Tautz, 34, killed little Joshua Paul minutes after his mother Pearl Vijayan left her home in Turnpike Lane, north London, on 29 August 2014.
Ms Vijayan had hired the nanny for £3.60 an hour through Childcare.co.uk after being struck by her ‘soft and engaging’ manner, which had drawn smiles from Joshua.
Tautz shook Joshua with such force she caused severe swelling and bleeding in his brain and eyes as well as bruising to his spinal cord.
The killer desperately tried to revive Joshua before paramedics arrived at the scene and rushed him to North Middlesex Hospital, but the injuries proved fatal.
He suffered three cardiac arrests before dying in his parent’s arms at Great Ormond Street Hospital on 1 September.
Tautz denied manslaughter , claiming Joshua must have suffered a seizure or sustained injuries while they were playing ‘horsey’.
But she was today found guilty by an Old Bailey jury who took nearly seven hours to reach its 10-to-two majority verdict.
Tautz was handed a four year jail sentence.
Prosecutor Zoe Johnson QC said experts had concluded Joshua died ‘as a result of being shaken or shaking accompanied by some sort of injury to his head’.
Ms Johnson told jurors: “Tautz excessively and dangerously shook Joshua, that shaking leading to his death.
“On that day, for whatever reason, something snapped in the defendant and for a short while she lost her temper with Joshua and assaulted him causing all those injuries.”
Jurors heard Joshua was ‘really good, smiling and happy’ when Ms Vijayan went to work and left him in Tautz’s care.
She said she and her husband Nirmal had struggled to find a child minder before meeting Tautz.
“We really liked her she was soft and engaging and Joshua smiled at her and looked happy,” said Ms Ms Vijayan.
After checking Tautz’s references they were told she was ‘good with children’ and employed her after having not been able to find another nanny they were comfortable with.
Joshua was born three months premature with two holes in his heart and weighed just 1.7kg (3.74 pounds).
He needed assistance with breathing and he was fed by a tube in his stomach.
After two months his parents were allowed to take him home and at the time of his death he was crawling and beginning to pull himself up to stand.
Tautz was born in Budapest on October 23, 1982, where she went to school and did office work before moving to the UK in 2007 with her now ex-boyfriend.
“My boyfriend at that time thought we had more chance to have a better life in the UK,” she said.
“I have always loved children…. I decided in 2012 I wanted to be with children.”
Tautz landed her first paid role as a childminder for Joshua through an agency, childcare.co.uk.
On August 26, just days before the alleged killing, Ms Vijayan sent a text to Tautz which read: ‘Makes me feel happy to know he’s in safe hands.’
At 8.40am on August 29, 2014 she left for work as the boy was ‘happy and playing’ after breakfast.
A short time later a neighbour heard Tautz crying out ‘help, help, help’ and saw Joshua lying unresponsive on the hallway floor, the court heard.
A scan at the North Middlesex Hospital revealed that Joshua had a bleed on the brain
Paramedics arrived at Culross Close at around 9.11am to find Joshua looking ‘stiff’ with fluid around his nose and mouth.
A distraught Tautz travelled with the child to hospital and was heard to say: “What am I going to tell his parents?”
At 11.43am Joshua had a CT scan at North Middlesex Hospital, which revealed a he had a bleed on the brain and he was transferred to Great Ormond Street where he died two days later.
Tautz told police that she played a game of ‘horsey’ with Joshua before putting him in his cot, jurors heard.
She claimed that she was in the room doing some sewing when Joshua suddenly burst out crying and his face went red.
Tautz said that when she picked him up he went floppy and stopped breathing so she turned Joshua over to pat his back.
She confirmed that while Joshua was in her care he didn’t fall, bang his head or shake his head.
Tautz, of Holly Park Road, Friern Barnet, north London, denied but was found guilty of manslaughter.