June 2019

Woman jailed for lies over partner’s toddler murder

A woman whose partner killed the toddler they were minding has been jailed for five years.

A judge told Sharleen Hughes, 36, she should have been aware of the risk Michael Wild posed to 22-month-old Ella-Rose Clover.

Liverpool Crown Court heard chances to prevent Ella’s death had been missed as doctors believed there was a medical reason for her bruising.

Wild, of Wythenshawe, Manchester, has been jailed for life for Ella’s murder.

Hughes, now of Mardyke, College Bank, Rochdale, had been convicted of allowing the death of a child and two offences of perverting the course of justice.

In sentencing, Mr Justice King said: “You, like those professionals, were blinded by the belief that an unknown non-traumatic medical condition was the cause of those injuries when the truth was staring you and the professionals, had they properly investigated matters, in the face.”

He said there were too many injuries and too many occasions of incidents for Hughes to not be aware of the “significant risk of serious physical harm” posed by Wild.

“Yours was, in fact, a serious case of criminal negligence which has resulted in the death of a child.”

During the couple’s trial, the jury heard that Ella’s mother Pagan often left her in the care of her friend Hughes.

Hughes’ then-partner Wild, 30, of Somerton Avenue was left alone with Ella on 21 January 2018.

When Hughes returned, the toddler was collapsed on the sofa and later died in hospital from abdominal injuries.

Hughes told paramedics she had been at home all the time and encouraged Wild, her 12-year-old son and his friend to lie to support the story.

Her son’s friend told the police the truth and officers collected evidence of Hughes’ movements on the day.

The judge said Hughes had done this to “protect and cover up” for Wild and to divert the police’s attention away from her own role in what had happened.

June 2019

Man jailed for life after punching baby to death

A man who murdered a toddler by repeatedly punching her has been jailed for life.

Ella-Rose Clover was just 22 months old when she died from abdominal injuries last year.

Michael Wild, 30, of Wythenshawe, Manchester, denied murder but was found guilty at Liverpool Crown Court following an eight-week trial.

He was sentenced to life in prison and will serve a minimum of 20 years for the death of Ella-Rose.

The court heard that Wild had assaulted the toddler on previous occasions when she was left in the care of him and his partner, Sharleen Hughes.

On 21 January last year, he was left alone with Ella-Rose while Hughes ran errands and when she returned at about 1.30pm the toddler was collapsed on the sofa.

The youngster was treated by paramedics and taken to hospital but died from abdominal injuries.

In a statement read out to the court, Ella-Rose’s mother Pagan Clover, 26, said Hughes, who was Ella-Rose’s godmother, had become a paid carer for her daughter while she was at work.

The single mother, who has an older daughter, Freyah, and now a baby son, Harry, said in the months leading up to Ella-Rose’s death the toddler was taken to hospital with unexplained bruising.

She said: “Sharleen came with me to some of the hospital and doctors’ appointments, Mick even came along and saw me begging for answers from the hospital staff.

“All along he knew what was going on and it sickens me now to think that he sat there watching me and seeing Ella suffer.

“Sharleen, my cousin, my confidant and my friend who I trusted implicitly and who Ella loved, and Mick, her boyfriend, who always seemed so nice and kind – they betrayed me and worst of all they betrayed Ella in the worst possible way.”

Sentencing Wild, the judge said: “This killing was the culmination of a course of conduct on your part going back many months.”

He said he had no doubt the toddler died after Wild repeatedly punched her, causing internal injuries to her abdomen.

He added: “The likelihood is you lost your temper with the child when she, in your sole care, required her nappy being changed on more than one occasion over that period.”

Wild showed no reaction in the dock while Ms Clover, who was in court with about a dozen family members, walked out after the sentence was passed.

Hughes, 36, was found guilty of causing the death of a child and two counts of perverting the course of justice and is due to be sentenced on Wednesday.

May 2019

Man who repeatedly punched toddler convicted of her murder

A man who repeatedly punched a toddler left in his care has been convicted of her murder.

Ella-Rose Clover died in 2018 due to “internal bleeding and cardiac arrest following the deliberate infliction of blows”, Liverpool Crown Court heard.

Her mother Pagan Clover broke down in tears as Michael Wild was convicted.

She had left Ella with the girl’s godmother, Sharleen Hughes, who then left the 22-month-old with her 31-year-old partner Wild while she did errands.

Prosecutor Paul Reid QC said Ella suffered “deliberate infliction of blows to the abdomen” by Wild in Wythenshawe, Greater Manchester, on 21 January 2018.

The jury heard that, two months before her death, Wild had assaulted Ella, which led to emergency surgery to remove part of her bowel.

Mr Reid said: “Sharleen Hughes was, or ought to have been, aware of the risk of Michael Wild causing serious physical harm to Ella and she failed to take reasonable steps to protect her.”

Ms Clover told police after her daughter’s death that she would not have agreed to Wild, who she described as “not sociable”, looking after Ella.

Hughes, 36, was found guilty of causing or allowing the death of a child and two counts of attempting to pervert the course of justice.

The court heard the latter counts related to her providing misleading information to the police and getting her son, his friend and Wild to lie to officers.

It is believed Wild had been secretly hitting and bullying the baby for months, but this was missed by doctors who believed Ella-Rose had a medical problem.

He now faces a life sentence behind bars.

Wild, of Morland Road, Gleadless, Sheffield, and Hughes, of Mardyke, College Bank, Rochdale, are to be sentenced at a later date.