Kent

Parents guilty of amputee baby's life-changing injuries

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Media captionThe pair had denied the charges

The parents of a six-week-old baby boy have been found guilty of causing him near-fatal injuries which resulted in the amputation of both his legs.

Jody Simpson, 24, and Tony Smith, 46, from Whitstable, denied assaulting, ill treating or neglecting their child, to cause unnecessary suffering or injury.

The jury at Maidstone Crown Court returned their verdict in less than an hour following a two-week trial.

The court was then told Tony Smith Jr had been adopted and is a happy child.

The couple were found guilty of causing or allowing serious physical harm to a child and cruelty and neglect to a person under 16 years.

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The judge had told the jury to decide if the injuries which almost killed baby Tony were "non-accidental".

Simpson and Smith will be sentenced on Monday.

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Image caption Tony Smith (left) and Jody Simpson took their baby son to a GP with "cold-like" symptoms

Addressing the court after the verdicts, Judge Philip Statman praised the NHS, calling its treatment of the baby "utterly remarkable".

"I can't remember a case where the level of care has been higher than this... because as you know baby Tony was seconds away from death when he arrived at the doctors surgery.

"It is also utterly remarkable that we have foster carers who take these children and look after them in this way, especially when the child has such serious disabilities

"Baby Tony's adopted family are absolute stars," he said.

'Moribund'

Simpson and Smith had taken the baby to a GP with "cold-like" symptoms in November 2014.

But on arrival an expert said he was "moribund" and hospital X-rays revealed 11 fractures and septicaemia.

Judge Statman told the jury that the prosecution was not required to prove which defendant caused Tony physical harm or which allowed the serious physical harm to occur.

The prosecution claimed Tony's injuries were "non-accidental" and "far in excess of normal handling or even rough play".

The jury previously heard the prosecution assert that baby Tony's injuries would have been obvious and Smith and Simpson delayed taking him to get medical treatment.

Smith told the court he did not take the baby to a doctor earlier because he was waiting in for a plumber.

The defence stated that not all of Tony's symptoms, such as the septicaemia, would have been obvious.

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