August 2017

Mum and ex-partner jailed after baby girl suffered injuries so horrific she could have been in high speed crash

A mum and her ex-boyfriend have been jailed after a four-month-old baby girl suffered injuries so horrific they were likened to a high-speed crash.

Samiya-Sara Tempah, 25, formerly of Sanvey Gate and Yasin Valli, 26, of Nansen Road, North Evington blamed each other for the catastrophic wounds inflicted on the tot but were both found guilty of child cruelty.

The baby girl suffered brain damage, a broken leg, haemorrhages in both eyes and bruising, Leicester Crown Court was told.

And she was delayed urgent medical help for two days by the then couple who did not take her to hospital despite being advised by a neighbour

Judge Ebraham Mooncey said it was still not known which of the two was responsible for causing the harm.

He said: “There’s silence between the defendants about what actually happened.”

Medical experts concluded the youngster was the victim of “forceful shaking” resulting in injuries comparable with her being in a high speed crash or falling from a second floor window.

The defendants, on realising the baby had breathing difficulties and feeding problems, delayed taking her immediately to hospital – despite advice to the contrary from a neighbour.

Two days later, when they finally took the child to hospital, they tried to pass off the injuries as being caused by an accidental bump to the infant’s nose or being inside an overturned pushchair.

In court, they denied the charges and blamed one another.

Tempah and Valli were convicted by a jury, in June, of allowing the baby to suffer serious physical harm by unlawful acts, with majority 10-2 verdicts.

Both were also found guilty, unanimously, of child cruelty by failing to get prompt medical help.

They were back in the dock yesterday to be sentenced.

Tempah was jailed for five years.

The court was told that she has had all four of her children, by different fathers, taken away following the incident in September 2014.

Valli, who was in a three month “open relationship” with Tempah, when the baby was injured, was jailed for six years.

He was living with Tempah at the time, but is not the father of any of her children.

The judge said: “Both defendants are culpable and they should have taken her to hospital sooner, on the morning their neighbour gave an opinion.”

He praised the involvement of the neighbour, who also gave evidence in court.

Tempah left the dock clutching a tissue and crying after sentence.

Robert Underwood, prosecuting, said that in the intervening three years the child had made “steady progress” and was in foster care.

A report by social worker Eva Sitaram-Booth stated the child had been in a caring environment and also receiving specialist support.

She had “global and developmental delay” and was only able to say simple words.

The victim was described as a “happy sociable little girl”, but also said to “live in a world of her own”, although still able to interact with her peers at nursery school.

She is receiving ongoing treatment for difficulties to her right leg, medication for epilepsy and other therapies.

When she gave evidence, Tempah told the jury she did not know the extent of her baby’s injuries and initially thought she was suffering from “a bug.”

Valli told the court the baby accidentally bumped her nose against his collarbone, when he tripped, but said he did not “have a clue” how the brain injuries happened.