Young mum, 20, ‘hounded to death by vigilantes’ after being cleared of killing baby daughter

Danah Vince was hounded to death by vigilantes, her family claim
Danah Vince was hounded to death by vigilantes, her family claim

A young mum cleared of killing her baby daughter has been hounded to death by vigilantes, her family claim.

Little Paris Vince-Stephens suffered “catastrophic” head injuries at just 16-weeks-old when her dad William Stephens, 25, lost his temper and shook her.

The thug was jailed for six years after being convicted of manslaughter but her mum Danah Vince, 20, was cleared of causing or allowing the death of her baby daughter.

But her parents claim she was tormented and threatened by locals following the trial and killed herself just hours after she was attacked in a pub by a gang of girls.

Her grieving mum Lisa, 40, said: “A lot of people would be horrible to her in the street. They would be mean to her and she would also get threats and insults.

“She was harassed which meant that she started to stay in a lot rather than go out.

“It was obvious there were people who were never going to let it go away.

“There was also a lot of horrible stuff about her on the internet. People would say mean things to her and send nasty messages.”

Her dad, and Lisa’s ex-husband DJ, 41, added: “No one is saying that Danah is an angel. She had her problems like anyone else. But she would never have harmed her baby.

“She was a good mother and would have done anything for her daughter.

“There was a lot of stuff said about her in court but it was just not true.

Paris Vince-Stephens who died from massive head injuries after being attacked by her father
Paris Vince-Stephens who died from massive head injuries after being attacked by her father

“At the end of the day she was found not guilty and Williams was sent to prison for killing Paris. When the trial was over she made a real effort to rebuild her life.”

During the trial at Bristol Crown Court, the jury heard the young parents had a “volatile” on-off relationship and social services got involved.

Evil Stephens was subject to a restraining order banning him from contacting Danah, but the court was told he was still living with her and Paris at the time of her death.

The yob – who had learning difficulties and an IQ in the low 50s – is thought to have lost control and shaken crying Paris, causing her a fatal brain bleed in January 2013.

Medics at Bristol Children’s Hospital fought to save her for two days, and experts said her injuries were either caused by shaking or banging her head against a soft surface – or a combination of both.

Her family claim some of the accusations made about Danah in court were false – including allegations she blew cannabis smoke into Paris’ cot to keep her quiet.

Danah walked free from court, but her relatives said she was forced to move away from her family in Southmead, Bristol, in a bid to escape harassment.

But they claim she was still taunted via online messages, and when she returned to the Bear and Rugged Staff pub near her family’s home, she was punched by three girls.

Hours later on November 29 last year – almost a year after she was cleared of her daughter’s death – she was found dead in her new home after taking an overdose of tranquillisers.

Speaking of her pub attack, DJ said: “I spoke to Paris on the Friday night when it happened.

“She was going out to the pub for a drink and she seemed fine, she seemed quite happy.

“I heard that three girls picked on her in the pub and intimidated her. She was pushed around and punched.

“That was the weekend she died.

“There were a lot of lies told about Danah in the court and there are a lot of people out there who just refuse to listen to the truth.

“She was at her happiest when she was with Paris and she loved that baby. The problem was she kept letting Stephens come back into her life.”

During her trial, the court heard Danah had an on-off relationship with Stephens, and while he wasn’t supposed to stay at her flat, there was evidence he lived there.

Mum Lisa said: “Danah’s only crime was to let this horrible man back into her life. She was cleared of doing anything wrong but people just refused to accept she was innocent.

“Danah wanted to try and get her life back on track but wasn’t allowed to by people who didn’t know the truth.”

“When Danah was found not guilty she was determined to get on with her life and make something of herself.

“At the time she was just in complete shock. She made the decision to go to the police, she just wanted to get it sorted out as quickly as possible.

“After the court case she moved out of Southmead and took parenting classes. She tried to stay away from the people being horrible to her.

“The problem was all her family and friends are in the area so it was really tough for her.

“She tried really hard but she had her ups and downs. Some days she would be fine and then at other times she would get very low.”

Danah’s death is being investigated by the coroner and an inquest is expected to be held later this year.


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