Matthew Wickens has been jailed for six years and five months over the manslaughter of his baby son Riley Gardener.

The new father killed his five-week-old son after losing his temper when alone with his child at the family home in Paignton, Devon.

Detective Constable Jo Thomson, of the Force Major Crime Investigation Team and officer in the case, said: “This was a thorough and complex investigation by the Major Crime Investigation Team of Devon and Cornwall Police into the tragic death of Riley Gardener.

“Due to the volume of evidence against Matthew Wickens he has pleaded guilty to manslaughter. This was acceptable to the Crown Prosecution Service and the police. The court has today imposed a jail sentence of six years and five months, but our thoughts now remain with the family and relatives.

“The police would like to express their gratitude to Riley’s mother and grandparents for their co-operation throughout the enquiry. Despite the very difficult circumstances they have had to come to terms with they have maintained their dignity throughout which is a credit to them.”

The family of Riley Gardener have released a statement saying: “The past 18 months has been very traumatic for all of our family. It is difficult to describe the pain and devastation that we feel at the loss of our beautiful little boy.

Riley is always in our hearts and a moment does not go by without us thinking about him. We would like to share this poem as a tribute to Riley who will be loved forever by all of us and can now finally rest in peace.

“The whole family would like to express their appreciation for the support and sensitivity shown by the police during this very difficult time.”