April 2014

Young girl left with ‘worst injuries’ after sustained beating

A young girl was subjected to a “severe and deliberate beating” over a number of days, resulting in the worst injuries a doctor had seen in his professional career, a court heard.

Police found the girl with severe swelling and bruises across her forehead, eyes and face, after they were alerted by a concerned member of the public.

Officers arrested Roger Gosden, 44, who was subsequently convicted on two counts of child cruelty.

During his trial, harrowing details of the extent of the injuries suffered by the child emerged.

Prosecutor Adam Feest told Southampton Crown Court that the girl told police she had fallen off a rocking horse and bumped herself but appeared confused, disorientated, sweaty, hot and tearful.

The girl was immediately taken to Southampton General Hospital where doctors found she had also swallowed amphetamine.

A subsequent examination found further wounds with a dozen separate sites of injury to her face and further bruising to her chest, abdomen and back.

The girl, who was of primary school age, was examined by consultant paediatrician Gary Connett who said it was immediately apparent her injuries were not consistent with her rocking horse account.

In his opinion they had been inflicted over several days and were the result of her suffering a severe, deliberate beating.

Gosden, of no fixed abode, appeared at the city crown court unrepresented after sacking his barrister. He conducted his own defence but was convicted of two charges of child cruelty.

During the trial, Dr Connett described the girl’s injuries as very severe, telling the court he had never seen a child so badly beaten in his career.

Passing a three-year jail term, Judge Peter Henry told Gosden he had committed serious offences against a small and vulnerable victim after losing his temper.

“The jury have pieced together various accounts from the police, medical authorities and social workers and through that, a clear picture has emerged you had inflicted these serious injuries. I am also satisfied you warned her not to say anything about these assaults.”

The judge ordered Gosden’s sentence to run consecutive to a six-year term he is currently serving for drugs offences after hearing he had 28 previous convictions for 67 offences which also included threats to kill, affray and battery.

Gosden was also banned from working with children.