Wednesday 17 October 2018

Baby boy had to get both legs amputated after parents subjected him to a series of 'violent assaults'

Undated Kent Police handout photos of Antony Smith and Jody Simpson, the parents of a 41-day-old baby who nearly died after being subjected to a series of
Undated Kent Police handout photos of Antony Smith and Jody Simpson, the parents of a 41-day-old baby who nearly died after being subjected to a series of "violent assaults" which meant both his legs had to be amputated, as they have each been jailed for 10 years. Photo: Kent Police/PA Wire
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

The parents of a 41-day-old baby who nearly died after being subjected to a series of "violent assaults" which meant both his legs had to be amputated have each been jailed for 10 years.

Jody Simpson, 24, and Antony Smith, 47, showed no remorse after the injuries were inflicted on Tony Smith Junior in 2014, Maidstone Crown Court heard on Monday.

Simpson took him to a doctor in November that year with cold-like symptoms but he was taken to hospital in a critical condition after it was feared he was close to death.

Doctors found he had developed septicaemia and several infections and he was put into intensive care at Evelina London Children's Hospital.

X-rays showed he had eight fractures, including a dislocated ankle caused by it being twisted or "yanked".

He survived, but remained in hospital until February 2015, and needed to be anaesthetised 11 times.

Both his legs have been amputated and he is partially deaf.

After being discharged he was adopted and given a new identity, the details of which are protected by law and cannot be reported.

Heather Stangoe, prosecuting, said it was not clear if the series of "spiteful assaults" were inflicted all at once or on eight different occasions.

She said the couple waited nine hours before seeking medical help but may have known even earlier that he needed treatment.

The pair, said to have been living in a tent near Canterbury before standing trial, denied the allegations but were found guilty of child cruelty and causing or allowing their son to suffer serious physical harm.

Smith told the court he had not taken his son to the hospital sooner because he was waiting for a plumber.

Judge Philip Statman, sentencing, said: "[Baby Tony] sustained, at the hands of one or the other of you, injuries which will, and have, caused his life to change dramatically.

"I cannot be sure which of you caused either, all or any of the injuries and the precise role each of you played.

"It's not an exaggeration to say he was almost at the door of death.

"Who can a child of 41 days turn to other than those who brought him into the word and are meant to love him unconditionally?

"This did not happen in this case."

Speaking in front of the entire jury, which returned to see the sentence passed, Judge Statman said the force needed to break the bones of a baby would have been "vigorous" and he would have been in "considerable pain".

He criticised Simpson for putting her relationship with Smith ahead of caring for her child and said there was nothing to suggest she was incapable of doing so.

Dressed in a grey jumper, she rested her head in her hand and stared blankly at the room while she listened to the proceedings.

Smith, wearing similar clothing, kept his head lowered for the duration and nodded when he was handed his sentence.

Ben Irwin, defending Smith, who had a long history of heroin addiction and offending since 1990, said he had been "targeted repeatedly" with violence over the course of the proceedings and this could continue.

Press Association

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editors Choice

Also in World News