MONSTER

Woman jailed for life for murdering her son in horrendous attack

MUM Collette Harris kicked and punched her toddler son to death.

MUM Collette Harris kicked and punched her toddler son to death.
And yesterday, she was jailed for life for little Bobby Louch’s murder.
Harris, 30, was told she must serve at least 16 years.
Bobby, who was 21 months, suffered “catastrophic” brain damage as he was beaten to death.
The tot had at least 40 injuries and bruises. One blow to his stomach damaged vital organs.
His injuries were so severe they would normally be seen in a car crash, the Old Bailey was told.
Bobby died of his brain injuries but the damage to his body would also have been likely to kill him.
The fatal injuries were inflicted in an attack at the family home in Bexleyheath, south-east London, in December 2008.
Harris, of Dartford, Kent, had denied killing Bobby or causing his injuries but was found guilty of murder.
She screamed “Oh my God” and collapsed in tears. She was led from the dock shouting: “I didn’t do it.”
She
had tried to blame her new boyfriend, James Phillips, 25, who was found
not guilty of murder and alternate charges of manslaughter and causing
or allowing the death.
The day before his death, Bobby was
vomiting and looking disorientated. He had a burn mark on his right hand
which could have been made by it being placed on an oven door.
But Harris refused to take him to hospital. She told a friend she would be suspected of abusing him.
She
had said: “How can I take him to the hospital with bruises like that on
his body? They will think I am beating him up or something.”
In the early hours of the following Monday, a neighbour said he heard a voice whimpering and murmuring “mummy”.
Later, Harris rang for an ambulance, saying: “My baby won’t wake up.” Bobby’s face was covered in bruises.
The court heard how, three weeks before his death, the toddler had been treated in hospital for a broken leg.
Doctors
– vigilant because of the notorious Baby P case – had kept the boy in
for observations when they discovered suspicious bruising.
But a
consultant at Darent Valley Hospital in Dartford, Kent, who had seen
Bobby before, sent him home the next day after tests revealed that the
ankle fracture was caused accidentally.
Harris complained she was being “victimised” and said the bruises were the result of the youngster banging his head on his cot.
Richard
Whittam, QC, prosecuting, said: “At the time of his death, Bobby Louch
was covered in bruises. There is compelling evidence that the multiple
injuries were the result of deliberate and repeated violence.
“The likely cause of the injuries to the abdomen is a punch or kick to the stomach area.”
Recorder
of London judge Peter Beaumont told Harris: “This is a terrible thing
you did for reasons which are quite incomprehensible.”
Harris had taken up with Phillips immediately after ending her relationship with Bobby’s dad Dan Louch in October 2008.
In a victim impact statement to the court, Dan said: “Bobby’s death has completely devastated my life.
“Every day I ask why and how.
There
is no explanation and I feel so useless and helpless for what happened.
I feel personally to blame. I looked for signs but there were none.
“Collette
explained away the bruises to Bobby’s head, saying he headbutted his
cot and I remember how he cowered and covered his head when I reproached
him when he was naughty.
“Bobby died having spent the period before Christmas with me and my family.
“Christmas was a wonderful time, it was Bobby’s second Christmas and he was more aware and enjoyed opening his presents.”
The
tearful dad said later: “Bobby was our little angel and had his whole
life to look forward to but was so cruelly denied this for reasons we
still can’t fully comprehend.
“This can now bring to a close the traumatic and devastating quest to find some answers as to what happened to Bobby.
“Now we as a family can fully lay him to rest and complete our grieving process.”
Detective
Sergeant Alan Low, of the child abuse investigation unit, said: “Bobby
suffered horrific injuries in the place where he should have been the
safest and at the hands of the very person who should have been
protecting him.”
Andrew Flanagan, chief executive of the NSPCC, called for the new Government to make tackling child abuse a priority.
He said: “Tiny Bobby Louch was used as a human punchbag.
“The level of brutality inflicted on this helpless infant is sickening.
“Sadly,
since Baby Peter was killed in August 2007 at least 60 more children
have been killed, many after awful abuse or neglect.”

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