Sunday 25 February 2018

Life in jail for mum who beat son (2) to death

Keanu Williams who who was beaten to death after suffering months of ill-treatment.
Keanu Williams who who was beaten to death after suffering months of ill-treatment.
Undated handout photo issued by West Midlands Police of Rebecca Shuttleworth

Matthew Cooper

A British mother convicted of beating her two-year-old son to death after subjecting him to months of horrific cruelty has been jailed for life.

Rebecca Shuttleworth was ordered to serve at least 18 years in jail after being convicted yesterday of murdering Keanu Williams.

Shuttleworth, who was sentenced by Mr Justice Spencer at Birmingham Crown Court, had also been found guilty of four counts of child cruelty.

The 25-year-old inflicted what detectives described as "horrifying" injuries on Keanu after apparently convincing her support worker that she had turned her life around.

It emerged that Shuttleworth was filmed celebrating a £10,000 (€11,780) lottery win while on bail for the murder of Keanu, whose body showed 37 external marks of injury.

A video posted on YouTube by the People's Postcode Lottery shows the 25-year-old shouting in delight as her friend is presented with a cheque in Rusholme, Manchester.

Keanu was pronounced dead on January 9, 2011, after paramedics were called to his mother's partner's flat in Old Moat Way, Ward End, Birmingham.

The judge, who also passed concurrent sentences for child cruelty totalling four years, told Shuttleworth: "The jury have convicted you of the brutal murder of your two-year-old son.

DEFENCELESS

"He was a defenceless child and it was your duty to protect him. Instead you beat him so severely he died a lingering death from his injuries a day or so later.

"His death has left a void in many lives which will never be filled."

As Shuttleworth wept in the dock, the judge added: "By the jury's verdict, you alone were responsible for the violence which led to Keanu's death.

"One can scarcely imagine the pain and distress Keanu must have suffered from this outburst of violence."

Shuttleworth's partner, Luke Southerton (32), was cleared of murder, manslaughter and causing or allowing the death of a child, but convicted of one incident of cruelty

He was given a nine-month jail term suspended for two years, and ordered to complete 200 community work hours.

Irish Independent

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