A WOMAN who murdered her toddler son and concealed his body was today jailed for life and told she must serve a minimum of 15 years.
Kimberley Hainey, 37, was found guilty by a majority verdict last month of murdering her son Declan at a flat in Bruce Road, Paisley, Renfrewshire.
She was also convicted of failing to report Declan's death to police or other authorities and of concealing his body at the flat.
At the High Court in Glasgow, she was handed the life sentence and told she will spend a minimum of 15 years behind bars.
Hainey was also sentenced to seven years for attempting to defeat the ends of justice, which will run concurrently with the 15 years.
The court heard that the child's body was "mummified" when it was found in March 2010.
Sentencing her, Lord Woolman said: "Declan's first birthday took place in April 2009, he appeared to have all his life in front of him.
"He was surrounded by a loving family and people thought you were a loving mother. A few months later he was dead."
The cause of Declan's death is not known but he is said to have last been seen alive when he was 15 months old.
His body was discovered at the flat on March 30, 2010 when he would have been 23 months old. Experts said he had been dead for several months.
Hainey pretended the child was being cared for by family members or that he was at nursery, leading people to believe he was still alive.
Following a trial at the High Court in Glasgow, Hainey was found guilty of wilfully ill-treating, neglecting and abandoning the toddler, and exposing him in a manner that was likely to cause him suffering or injury to his health.
She left him alone for "excessive" periods of time and failed to provide him with adequate nourishment and fluids.
Yesterday, the Crown Office released photographs of rooms inside the flat piled with rubbish.
One shows what appears to be a travel cot or playpen filled with empty plastic bottles and debris while others show apparently mouldy milk bottles.
Lord Woolman said: "You were Declan's carer. You did not allow others to get close to him. Instead you isolated him from your family, your neighbours, your friends and from the welfare services.
"None of them thought that Declan's life was at risk. You engineered that situation.
"The jury convicted you of wilfully ill-treating and neglecting Declan, of failing to provide him with adequate nourishment and fluids, of leaving him alone unattended for excessive periods of time, and of failing to seek and provide medical aid and care for him.
"In addition, you took significant steps to cover up what happened. I take all these matters into account in assessing the seriousness of the crime."
He added: "You embarked on a systematic and elaborate course of conduct to prevent people knowing, or suspecting, that Declan was dead.
"It was a lengthy course of deceit that prevented proper inquiries being made."
He said that Declan's death had a "devastating effect" on the family.
In mitigation, he acknowledged that Hainey had had difficulty with drink and drugs and that her son's death was a "huge tragedy" for her, as she said she loved the boy "more than anything in the world".
Hainey's defence counsel Edward Targowski QC said his client, a former heroin addict, denied killing the child.
He said: "As far as Miss Hainey is concerned, she is still adamant that she had no involvement in the death of her child.
"Her position is that she found Declan dead in the morning, as she stated in her evidence, and her actions afterwards in relation to the charge of attempting to pervert the course of justice were as a consequence of that.
"That position is one that she has held at consultation from the outset. She held it during evidence and it is one she will continue to hold after the sentence."