Mum and partner who tortured son (2) to death given life sentences
A Scottish mother and her civil partner have been jailed for life for murdering her toddler son after subjecting him to more than two years of abuse and neglect.
Liam Fee (2) died at his home near Fife on March 22, 2014, after suffering heart injuries similar to those found on road crash victims. His mother Rachel Trelfa, or Fee, (31) and her partner Nyomi Fee (29) tried to pin the blame for the death on a young boy but were convicted of Liam's murder in May following a seven-week trial at the High Court in Livingston.
The pair - originally from Ryton, Tyne and Wear - were also found guilty of a catalogue of horrific cruelty against two boys in their care, including the one they blamed for Liam's death. Sitting at the High Court in Edinburgh, Judge Lord Burns ordered Trelfa to serve a minimum of 23 years and six months behind bars, while Fee must spend at least 24 years in prison before she can even be considered for release.
Liam had suffered a severe blunt-force trauma from a blow or blows to his chest and abdomen and had more than 30 external injuries on his lifeless body.
Jurors heard there had been an escalation of violence towards the boy leading up to his death, which included the couple failing to get help when they knew he had a broken leg and fractured arm.
Their "callous indifference" to his injuries would have left the child in agony, but the killers refused to get him medical aid, choosing instead to search the internet on their phones under terms such as 'how do you die of a broken hip', 'how long can you live with a broken bone?', and 'can wives be in prison together?'.
But they denied murder and, as part of their web of lies, tried to shift the blame for the killing on to a boy of only primary school age, who they claimed had been acting in a sexualised way towards Liam.