A mum and her partner are facing jail after being convicted of the death of her three-year-old son who was found battered to death with "car crash-like" injuries.
Alicia Watson, 30, was today (Tuesday, April 12) found guilty of causing or allowing the death of Kemarni Watson Darby while Nathaniel Pope, 32, was convicted of murder.
Little Kemarni was discovered by paramedics lifeless on a bedroom floor at a flat in West Bromwich, on June 5, 2018.
A court heard the youngster had suffered more than 20 rib fractures, internal injuries and bruising as a result of a "horrific" campaign of abuse.
He died from internal bleeding caused by blunt force trauma and his injuries were so severe the force used to inflict them was compared to that of a car crash.
The jury was told Kemarni had most likely been stamped on and had been subjected to physical abuse on several occasions in the weeks leading up to his death.
Pope had even locked Kemarni in a room and used snapped electrical cables to keep the door shut before he was subjected to one final "brutal assault."
Watson herself lied to several people about her son’s injuries - telling his nursery and other family members that he’d been hurt in a play fight with his siblings.
What happened on the day Kemarni died?
On the day he died, Watson took Kemarni to a medical centre where he was examined for a suspected stomach bug.
At no point did she disclose that he had been subject to assaults or trauma and CCTV showed the mum and son visiting a McDonald’s just hours before he died.
Expert pathologists gave evidence that it was extremely likely that Kemarni suffered the fatal injuries when he returned home.
They believed there was no way he could have stood up and walked, let alone make it to the doctor’s surgery with the injuries he later died of.
What happened at court?
The couple were charged with murder and multiple counts of child cruelty and pleaded not guilty to all of the offences.
Watson was found guilty of causing or allowing a death and child cruelty but was cleared of murder.
Warehouse worker Pope, a convicted drug dealer from Wolverhampton, was found guilty of murder and child cruelty and both will be sentenced at a later date.
Several jurors were in tears as the verdicts were read out following the 20 week trial at Birmingham Crown Court.
What has West Midlands Police said about the case?
Detective Inspector James Mahon, of West Midlands Police,said: “It’s been a horrific case for everyone involved and I’d like to extend my thanks to the jury, who have engaged and considered everything put before them, they are ordinary members of the public who have had to listen to the details of this case for over 10 weeks.
“Kemarni was so young and would not have been able to explain what was happening, or the pain that he was feeling to those that cared for him.
“It’s absolutely awful that the two people who were supposed to look after him the most were those that caused injury, and in the end his death.
“I hope that the conviction of both Pope and Watson today at least gives Kemarni’s loved ones some form of closure.”
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