November 2016

Toddler suffered 31 separate injuries in care of thug couple – but both walked free because it can’t be proved who inflicted them

toddler-suffered-31-separate-injuries

A toddler suffered 31 injuries while being looked after by these two – but both have walked free because it can’t be proved who inflicted them.

The two-year-old was left with an appalling list of injuries to their tiny body but Ross Walmsley and Demi Gray both denied responsibility.

A court heard the toddler had two fractures to the hand and bruising and marks to the head, arms, trunk, buttocks and legs.

Both Walmsley and Gray pleaded guilty to child cruelty but on the basis they did not harm the youngster.

Now Walmsley, 21, of Heworth Road, Concord, Washington , and Gray, 20, of Coach Road Estate, Washington, have walked free from court on suspended prison sentences.

Recorder Euan Duff, at Newcastle Crown Court , said: “The Crown accept and I am bound to sentence you on the basis neither of you has been proved to have caused those injuries.

“How anyone can treat a child of two in that way or allow a child to be treated in that way by someone else is quite beyond those of us who care for children.”

The court heard the toddler’s injuries were discovered when they were taken to the emergency care centre in Washington.

Prosecutor Julie Clemitson told the court: “They each submitted a basis of plea saying they were not responsible for the injuries.

“The Crown cannot say who did.”

Miss Clemitson told the court the toddler had obvious multiple injuries, including severe bruising to the face, when they were taken for treatment.

It was claimed the toddler had fallen but investigations by medics concluded the injuries were unlikely to be accidental.

In his basis of plea, Walmsley admitted “rough and abusive treatment” of the child.

Walmsley was sentenced to 21 months imprisonment, suspended for two years, with rehabilitation requirements and 200 hours unpaid work.

Gray got 12 months imprisonment, suspended for two years, with rehabilitation requirements and 150 hours unpaid work.

Annelise Haugstad, defending Walmsley, said he is an “immature man” who has since sought professional help for his problems.

In her basis of plea, Gray admitted failing to protect the child from ill treatment.