THE mother of an eight-week-old baby murdered by his dad has spoken of her four-year nightmare battle to bury her son.
The remains of baby Rees Burridge were finally released yesterday by one of the country's top judges using an obscure 130-year-old law.
Informed that she could at last bury his remains, Rees' mum Donna Glynn said: "Finally. It's been four years and I've still not been able to lay my son to rest, and believe me, I've tried every avenue. It's been a mum's worse nightmare.
"He was a beautiful little boy who didn't deserve any of this. Hopefully, he can now finally be laid to rest. I can give him the funeral he deserves, which is all I can do for him now, poor little thing."
Michael Burridge, 30 (pictured above), is serving life for murdering baby Rees at his Tavistock home in 2006.
He was convicted following a trial at Plymouth Crown Court in March 2008, but the case did not end there; he launched a Court of Appeal bid to clear his name, meaning Rees' body lay unburied.
Yesterday, in a preliminary hearing prior to the appeal, Lord Justice Leveson ordered the baby's body be released to his family for burial.
Using laws drawn up in the 19th century — which the appeal judge had not realised applied to him — he exercised his power as a 'de facto coroner' to order the release.
Describing the situation as 'terrible', the judge made an order under the Coroners Act 1887 to allow the 'corporeal remains' to be buried.
Ms Glynn, aged 38 and still living in Tavistock with her daughter, said: "I'd tried everything to get my son released, even going to the local MP, but we've just hit brick walls all the time. It's been terrible — the worst thing you can ever go through."
Prosecutors at Burridge's trial said he killed Rees while his wife was out shopping in September 2006 by fracturing his ribs and shaking him. The jury heard expert evidence on 'shaken baby syndrome' but Burridge, a former soldier who later worked as a a milkman and window-cleaner, has steadfastly protested his innocence.
Among the issues at the appeal will be the suggestion that Rees may have suffered from congenital bone and vitamin deficiencies which made him vulnerable.
The judge said it was for Burridge's lawyers to present evidence which undermined the safety of his conviction.