Judge finds Thorold man guilty in death of grandson

A 40 year old Thorold man has been found guilty in the death of his 13 month old grandson.

Judge Joseph Nade has determined 40 Brian Matthews was responsible for the death of Kody Smart.

St. Catharines Standard journalist Bill Shawchuk was at the courthouse when the decision was made:

"Based on the evidence from the doctors, and police, and some statements that Brian made to - some contradictions and some statements he made to the police, [Judge Nade] concluded that Brian had shaken Kody and caused his death. He didn't mean to kill him - that's why it's manslaughter. There was no premeditation."

Throughout the investigation, Matthews had stated a family dog had knocked the child over, causing him to hit his head.

Shawchuk says the judge carefully reviewed evidence from medical professionals who suggested that was not the case.

"The medical evidence from the injuries Kody sustained, the judge felt looked to be from being shaken, not from falling and hitting his head."

Matthews is free on bail and will return to court on April 9 for a sentencing hearing.

The tragic case made headlines after it was revealed Niagara Children’s Services had placed the toddler in Matthew's care just nine weeks before his death

The Standard reports Matthews had been convicted in 1995 with abusing his son and Kody’s father when Brett Smart was  just six months old .