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A foster mother who abused a little girl ‘to the point of near death’ has been jailed for seven years.

Sharon Lippett, 45, put her victim through a horrendous campaign of abuse spanning three-and-a-half years after adopting her at the age of two in 2012.

The little girl was hospitalised in June 2015 with injuries so bad doctors said she was lucky to be alive.

Lippett was found guilty by a jury unanimously yesterday of three charges of cruelty to a child under 16, causing unnecessary suffering to a child, and wilful neglect of a child between January 2012 and June 2015 at Gloucester Crown Court.

The jury heard the girl went to live with Lippett, of Kingsway, Gloucestershire, in January 2012 when her natural mother could no longer care for her.

The parent subjected the girl to cruel punishments, such as being zipped into a suitcase, beaten with implements, forced to stand in stress positions with weights above her head and made to hang from a door by her fingertips, the court was told.

She did not come to the attention of the authorities until she was taken to Gloucestershire Royal Hospital on June 14, 2015.

Lippett’s partner, Kyle Marshall, 22, of the same address, was found guilty of wilful neglect by a jury majority of 11-1 but not guilty of a second count.

Her son Tony Lippett, 28, also of the same address, was convicted unanimously of wilful neglect and by a majority of 10-2 on a charge of 10-2 on the child cruelty charge. Both men will be sentenced at Bristol Crown Court on May 15.

‘She [the victim] was extremely unwell,’ said prosecutor Simon Dent at the beginning of the four week trial. ‘She had two fits, and was drifting in and out of consciousness.

‘When examined, and when her clothing was removed, they found really quite severe bruising on a lot of her body.’

Mr Dent said there was bruising in 49 different areas of the girl’s body from the top of her head down to the backs of her legs, with injuries to her face and body.

Showing the jury photographs taken that day he alleged: ‘You can see what appears to be the outline of a belt buckle [in one of the bruises].

‘The doctor’s view is that the bruising is from multiple blows from a belt or some similar instrument.’

Sharon Lippett was arrested and gave mainly no comment answers, Mr Dent said.

‘But what she did say in that interview, and what was recorded at the hospital, was that the injuries had happened the night before she was admitted to hospital.

‘She said the girl had been attacked by local boys who were trying to take her scooter.

‘After those injuries were discovered she did not go back to live with Sharon Lippett,’ Mr Dent said. Instead, the girl was placed with two different sets of foster carers after being released from hospital.

It was to those carers that the girl made ‘worrying disclosures’ of the abuse she had suffered at Lippett’s home.

Mr Dent said the disclosures came over a matter of months, and she was video interviewed by the police on three separate occasions.

It was noted by July 2015 that the girl would ‘not show trust when washing her hair, and would go rigid in the bath’.

By August of that year, records showed she would become very upset if Sharon or Tony Lippett were mentioned and ‘takes time to be consoled’.

Later in the same month the girl began to say that Sharon Lippett ‘smacked her all the time’ and Tony Lippett ‘whacked her’.

There were further allegations that Sharon Lippett would hit the girl with a towell and Tony Lippett watched on laughing, Mr Dent said.

The girl told foster carers that she was told to hold a heavy Lego box above her head, and would be shouted at if she lowered her arms when they hurt.

She claimed that Kyle Marshall had told her to eat ‘dog poo’, and to ‘put her hands on the floor so he could cut her fingers off’.

The little girl claimed that Sharon Lippett wanted to drown her. ‘She said that to me. She pushed me under the water,’ the victim added.

Sentencing Lippett yesterday Judge Michael Cullum said she had treated the child ‘appallingly.’

‘The child was close to death. You took her into the hospital but I believe you only did that so you did not have to explain a dead child,’ said the judge.

Accusing Lippett of ‘getting bored’ of the child, he said ‘you simply didn’t care about her.

‘She said you beat her with a belt and were counting the strokes. There were 49 sites of bruising. That child would have screamed at the time and would have been hobbling’ he said.

‘I will repeat what the doctor said – she had never seen that many bruises on a child – then she paused and said ‘still living.’

‘It was such a cruel house to be in and no child deserves to be subjected to that. People should weep over your wickedness.

‘She has suffered psychological, emotional and developmental abuse. She was underfed, she is under tall and her weight was akin to living in famine conditions.

‘This is a serious case of child cruelty. She was close to death’ Judge Cullum told her before sentencing Lippett to seven years imprisonment.…/27/sharon-lippett-kingsway/

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