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Teenage couple locked up for 'horrific' cruelty to baby

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Teenage couple locked up for 'horrific' cruelty to baby

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Published by Jon Land for 24dash.com in Communities and also in Local Government

Teenage couple locked up for 'horrific' cruelty to baby Teenage couple locked up for 'horrific' cruelty to baby

A teenage couple who subjected their baby to 50 days of torture, during which his legs, wrists and ribs were broken, were beginning custodial sentences today.

Samuel Chamberlain and Kankamon Sukchuen put their son through nearly two months of abuse at their one-bedroom flat in Redfield, Bristol, the city's crown court heard.

Mr Justice Butterfield told Chamberlain, 19, he would be released only when and if an expert parole panel believed he was no longer a danger. He will serve a minimum of three-and-a-half years before he is considered for release.

Sukchuen, 19, was sentenced to four years' youth custody, and disqualified from working with children.

Bristol Crown Court heard the injuries were caused by the baby having his fingers bent back, his limbs deliberately twisted and his mouth burned by a hot object.

The couple, who became parents last June, pleaded guilty to cruelty to a child aged under 16 as well as doing acts tending to pervert the course of justice.

Robert Davies, prosecuting, said the baby, who cannot be named for legal reasons, suffered a series of assaults or acts of cruelty and one or both defendants were to blame.

The court heard yesterday the child suffered displaced fractures of both thigh bones, fractures to his wrists, fractures above and below his knees and above his left ankle, multiple rib fractures, right hand index finger fracture, fractures to the spine, haemorrhages to the eyes, and cuts to the tongue.

Mr Davies added that the rib fractures were consistent with it being squeezed - which would have caused bleeding to his eyes.

The court heard the leg fractures were the most extensive ever seen by a consultant radiologist in 19 years.

But it was not possible to state which defendant caused which injury.

Mr Davies said they had lied to medical authorities, social workers and police about the injuries - offering such explanations as seeing him get his hand caught or poking himself in his eyes.

The court heard that the boy is now recovering after being taken into care.

Fiona Elder, defending Chamberlain, said he accepted he caused at least some of the injuries but had never accepted he was solely to blame.

Rosaleen Collins, defending Sukchuen, said her client had not caused injuries herself or observed any being caused but she had worries and suspicions.

Passing sentence, the judge said the offences were "horrific" and had to be met with long sentences.

After the hearing the officer in the case Detective Inspector Will White said: "These offences were of the most serious nature. They were identified and dealt with by the health, police and social services working together.

"I'm glad to say that the child is now in foster care and making good progress. These sentences reflect the severity of the injuries and suffering inflicted on this baby."

Labour MP for Wansdyke, Dan Norris, a former child protection officer, said: "This shows the importance of ensuring that social workers have the best possible training.

"It is still possible for important clues to be missed, with tragic consequences.

"The case also shows the importance of the indeterminate sentence. This man's dangerousness must be continually assessed. For this to be repeated would be a tragedy."

Dame Mary Marsh, director and chief executive of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) said: "This is a horrific case of cruelty against a tiny baby powerless to defend himself.

"Over 50 days this defenceless child suffered violent torture and abuse by the very people who should be giving him their love and best care - his parents. We can't even begin to imagine the horrendous pain he was subjected to.

"As our thoughts turn to our familes this Christmas time, this is a terrible reminder how many children are still suffering systematic abuse and neglect.

"The NSPCC urges anyone who has concerns about a child this Christmas to do something about it and report it to the NSPCC child protection helpline on 0808 800 5000. Only then can we hope to put an end to such shocking cases of cruelty and abuse."
 

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