Sunday 18 August 2019

Mother who protected her toddler son's killer is jailed for seven years

(stock photo)
(stock photo)

Dave Higgens

A mother who chose to protect her partner after he fatally injured her three-year-old son rather than seek emergency medical help has been jailed for seven years.

Kayleigh Siswick was sentenced at Leeds Crown Court for causing or allowing the death of her son, Riley Siswick, alongside her partner, Kyle Campbell, who was jailed for life for murder.

The judge, Mr Justice Turner, said that by not seeking medical help for Riley after Campbell attacked him in February 2016, the pair condemned the boy to 36 hours of "unremitting and significant pain".

He said that Campbell, who was told he must serve a minimum of 20 years in prison, was guilty of "an appalling act of selfish cruelty which condemned Riley to a slow and painful death and deprived him of any residual chance he had of survival".

Campbell and Siswick, both 27, showed no emotion as they were sentenced on Thursday.

When they were found guilty earlier by a jury of seven men and five women, there were gasps from the public gallery.

The jury heard during the trial how Riley was found dead two days after he was seriously injured by Campbell, 27, at their Huddersfield home.

Neither Siswick nor Campbell raised the alarm about the toddler's acute and deteriorating condition.

The trial heard how Riley was injured in his abdomen by Campbell on Thursday February 4 2016, "either from a fist, or by jumping or stamping on him or by striking him with an object".

Robert Smith QC, prosecuting, told the jury that the blow had injured Riley so severely that his bowel was severed, spilling his stomach contents internally, which caused peritonitis - a life-threatening infection.

Mr Smith said this would have caused severe pain which "would have been obvious to the person who caused the injury or any adult who saw him after the injury was sustained".

He said the little boy would have deteriorated and developed septic shock.

Mr Smith said Siswick failed to seek medical help for her son but "instead, she chose to protect Kyle Campbell".

He said paramedics were eventually called to the house on Smiths Avenue on the morning of Saturday February 6 but Riley was already dead and had been for a number of hours.

The judge said Campbell's decision to go along with other people's concerns that Riley had a severe stomach bug was a "reckless gamble" that "did not pay off".

He told him: "You were too much of a coward to face up to the consequences of your actions and pretended that nothing had happened."

Instead, the judge said: "He (Riley) was left to die in a bed soaked in his own urine".

The judge said he was satisfied that Siswick "prioritised" her relationship with Campbell over her children.

But he said he had reduced her sentence to reflect that, with "limited cognitive abilities" and a mental age of 11, she had a "lack of insight" into her actions.

The judge told her this "considerably diminished your responsibility".

Detective Chief Superintendent Nick Wallen, who led the investigation for West Yorkshire Police, said: "This has been a very long and complicated investigation. Riley, who was just three years old, suffered a catastrophic injury and details of how this could have been sustained were heard throughout the trial and subject of expert medical evidence.

"We are really pleased we have been able to secure justice for Riley."

PA Media

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