Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Liam Fee mother to appeal against murder conviction

Nyomi (left) and Rachel Fee murdered two-year-old Liam
Image caption Nyomi (left) and Rachel Fee were convicted in May of murdering two-year-old Liam

The mother of Liam Fee has been given permission to appeal against her murder conviction.

Rachel Fee, 31, has been told her lawyers can argue the judge in her trial earlier this year made mistakes when addressing jurors about the law.

Judge Lord Burns jailed Fee for 23-and-a-half years for murdering her two-year-old son at their Fife home at the High Court in Edinburgh in July 2016.

Her civil partner Nyomi, 24, was jailed for 24 years for murdering Liam.

The trial heard that the pair, who are originally from Ryton on Tyneside, spent two years torturing the toddler before finally killing him at their home near Thornton in March 2014.

They left Liam with heart injuries similar to those found on car crash victims.

They also abused another two boys by imprisoning one in a homemade cage and tying another naked to a chair in a dark room that stored snakes and rats.

Lesser charge

The two women tried to evade justice for murdering Liam by forcing one of the other children to take the blame for the crime.

They also Googled whether they could serve their prison sentences alongside each other in the same jail.

Police discovered the apparent confession made by the boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had been made under duress.

They found Nyomi had attempted to frame the child by forcing him to leave his DNA on Liam's body.

After a short hearing at the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh on Friday, a panel of judges gave permission for Fee's legal team to appeal against her conviction.

Judges Lady Paton, Lord Bracadale and Lord Turnbull agreed with submissions made by defence counsel Gavin Anderson.

Mr Anderson argued evidence was available to suggest Lord Burns misdirected jurors over the legal requirements needed to secure a murder conviction against Rachel Fee.

The advocate also argued the judge did not properly explain to the jury about the lesser charge of culpable homicide.

Jurors considering their verdict against Fee may have felt that the evidence presented to them meant that it was more appropriate to return a guilty verdict to culpable homicide than murder, he said.

Rachel Fee's appeal hearing will be heard sometime in the near future.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites