Tony Smith, 46, and Jody Simpson, 24, were both sentenced to 10 years' imprisonment today for what a Judge described as 'a series of spiteful assaults' on their 40 day old son. Baby Tony is understood to have been subjected to cruel abuse by his parents, who swung him around the room by his ankles and caused a number of fractures to his thighbones and lower legs, right ankle, left thumb and two bones in his big toe. They waited for ten days before finally taking him to a doctor who rushed him to hospital when they realised septicaemia had set in. Tony is said to have been in so much pain from this one injury alone that he showed signs of distress even when sedated in hospital. His septicaemia was so severe that both legs had to be amputated and his hip joints are so damaged by infection that he may not even ever be able to use prosthetic limbs.
The prosecuting lawyer caused members of the jury to burst into tears when she talked about the journey Tony had been on since leaving the family three years ago.
"He was in a pitiful state and despite being four months old by then weighed just 9lb 7oz, and that included the weight of two plaster casts he had on his legs. Very sadly, he was emotionally completely shut down - glazed eyes and absolutely no expression on his face. He was often quite distressed, not least when doctors undressed him to examine him. He has had fairly intensive intervention with physiotherapy as well as speech and language therapy, his speech having been delayed by the amount of time he has spent in hospital."
The story has a happy ending, as Tony has been adopted by a loving family and has several siblings who dote on him. He was shown in a photograph to the jury beaming and giving a 'thumbs up' to the camera, and his birth parents craned their necks to get a better look at the image of their son. It's not clear whether the abuse parent was Ms Simpson or Mr Smith, but ultimately that didn't matter to the jury who were happy to convict on the idea that one of them caused the injuries and the other covered up the truth. The couple were sentenced to 10 years in prison at Maidstone Crown Court.