BRENTWOOD, N.H. – On Thursday, a man who was accused of abusing his girlfriend’s 3-year-old son was sentenced to up to 67 years in prison.
In November 2012, Roland Dow and Jessica Linscott left Linscott’s son, James Nicholson, at the hospital with a brain injury, head-to-toe bruises, and burns on his arm and hand.
Two weeks later, the couple was arrested at the Universal Orlando Resort.
In June, the 28-year-old man was convicted of assaulting Nicholson, failing to get him medical help, coaching him to lie to a social worker and secretly recording the social worker’s visit.
Dow was convicted of 11 charges and acquitted of burning the boy; he was sentenced to between 25.5 years and 67 years. In Rockingham County Superior Court, a judge called his behavior deliberate, depraved, and sadistic.
The judge noted that after dropping the young boy at the hospital, “Dow flew out of the area and engaged in happy-go-lucky entertainment while James lay in a hospital bed having holes drilled in his skull to relieve the pressure of the injuries he sustained.”
Jurors were shown photos of James’ injuries, as well as videos of the child whimpering in pain and crashing to the floor, while Dow can be heard yelling, “Get up!” and “Stop having a fit!”
Dow neither testified at his trial, nor spoke at his sentencing.
Linscott pleaded guilty to child endangerment and witness tampering; she is serving from two-and-a-half to seven years in prison.
Although Linscott admitted to spanking her son, as well as administering other harsh punishments on him, she also testified that Dow abused her and treated her son “worse than a dog you don’t want.
“James was treated like a caged animal,” the judge said of the young boy’s abuse.
“For whatever reason, God only knows, this man hated James. He hated him, and he began his reign of terror against this 3-year-old little toddler,” said Assistant County Attorney Patricia Conway.
James, now five years old, lives with his grandmother and is reported to be “doing great physically.” The boy’s great-grandmother said that James still visits his mother in prison but is terrified of Dow and has asked, “Why did Roland hurt me all the time?”