A mother who subjected her toddler son to a sickening catalogue of beatings has been jailed for four years.
Preston Crown Court heard the 22-month-old boy suffered four broken bones in his arm and shoulder and numerous bruises to his head and body during up to a week of attacks by his “depressed” mother.
Judge Heather Lloyd told the mum, who was 20 at the time of the assaults: “What you did to cause these injuries and why you did it remains a complete mystery because you have never told the truth about what happened. Any case which involves a parent inflicting harm on a child is always extremely sad. But the one person to whom any child should be able to look to for protection is his mother.”
Judge Lloyd heard it had not been possible to pinpoint exactly when the injuries had happened. But they were not the result of just one attack and had been inflicted over a period of days. It was said the mother, who was appearing for sentence after being found guilty by a jury of three counts of cruelty and three of neglect, had repeatedly denied harming the boy and had sought to deflect suspicion towards her ex-partner and even her own father.
“Many people’s lives have been turned upside down by this,” said Judge Lloyd. “Fortunately (the boy) has recovered, but how he will feel when he knows his mother caused this is anyone’s guess.
“(The boy’s) father was so frustrated by your repeated lies and refusal to say over a period of months what had happened that he beat you severely. He should not have done that and he is now serving a long custodial sentence. But (the boy) now has the prospect of having both his mother and father in prison.
“You will now be deprived of seeing your son growing up on a daily basis. But I am afraid that is the consequence of such violence to a little boy and your repeated lies and lack of remorse.”
The court heard that the mother, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had a previously good character and had been described as a caring mum.
“This has been a very sad case and a tragedy for the whole family,” said Beverley Hackett, defending. “This is a defendant who really has lost everything. She has lost her son and she knows that in future, when he is older, she will have some very serious questions to answer as far as he is concerned.”
She added: “She continues to love him and still wants the best for him.”
Sentencing the mother to four years on each of the six counts to run concurrently, Judge Lloyd added: “You have repeatedly changed your account and blamed others.
“Something has triggered your behaviour over the course of that week. Before then there were never any concerns about your care or for his welfare.”
After the hearing Det Sgt Jamie Lillystone said: “The sentence reflects the seriousness of the crime committed and reinforces that behaviour of this cruel nature will not be tolerated.”