Parents sentenced after physically abusing son
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Two parents have been sentenced for physically abusing their son following a three-and-a-half year investigation by the force’s Child Abuse Investigation Unit (CAIU).
The man and woman – who are from Leicester but cannot be named for legal reasons – each pleaded guilty to a charge of assault/ill-treat/neglect/abandon a child/young person to cause unnecessary suffering/injury at Leicester Crown Court last month.
On Friday (18 June) the man was sentenced to 30 months in prison while the woman was given a 12-month suspended sentence.
The boy’s mother admitted an offence in 2015, while his father admitted physically abusing him in 2017.
Police were first contacted in 2015 after the boy’s school teacher noticed he had bruising to his head and face. He was just six years old at the time. He was spoken to and indicated that his mother had hit him. As part of the police investigation, a medical examination the boy was found to have 14 injuries on his body.
Due to the complexities around the case, enquiries carried out during the investigation at the time, could not establish who had caused the injuries.
In November 2017 the boy did not attend school and staff became suspicious of his absence. When he returned teachers noticed a burn on one arm and bruises on both arms. Further injuries were also found on his body. When the boy was spoken to, he said his father had hit him and he was subsequently taken into care. The ensuing investigation re-opened the 2015 case and both parents were charged across the 2015 and 2017 offences.
Detective Constable Matt Gibson, from the CAIU, was the officer in the case. He said: “This has been a very long and complex investigation involving both police and partner organisations.
“I would like to thank the boy’s teachers for first raising concerns that he may have been subject to physical abuse yet again. When the first incident occurred, he was only six years old and was unable to explain what had happened to him in any detail. Now that he is older he has been able to describe in more detail the cause of the horrible injuries he was subjected to by his parents.
“Children are often unable to protect themselves against physical abuse from adults and as a force, we take any report of child abuse extremely seriously. I am pleased that the boy’s parents have admitted their actions and may now take some time to reflect on the harm they have caused to their own child.”
Detective Sergeant Rob Buckley added: “This was an exceptional investigation led by Matt and officers from the CAIU. They endeavour to protect our communities and were determined to seek justice for the young victim. We would ask anyone who is worried or concerned that a child may be subject to abuse to contact police.”
The Judge also awarded the officer in the case, DC Matt Gibson, with a Crown Court Commendation for his investigation.
Further information - including details of partner organisations offering support – can be found by visiting https://www.leics.police.uk/advice/advice-and-information/caa/child-abuse/