Wales

Finley Thomas murder: Mum and partner jail terms increased

Finley Thomas Image copyright Wales news service

A mother and her partner who were jailed over the death of her 17-month-old son have had their sentences extended by the Court of Appeal.

Sean Buckley, 28, was imprisoned for life, with a minimum term of 17 years, after being found guilty of murdering Finley Thomas with a garden chair.

The court raised his tariff to life with a minimum of 20 years.

Chloe Thomas had a 20-month child cruelty sentence extended to two-and-a-half years for failing to intervene.

Finley's 25-year-old mother originally denied neglecting her son, who was found with "catastrophic" injuries at their home in Tonypandy, Rhondda Cynon Taff, before changing her plea.

Cardiff Crown Court had previously heard Thomas' boyfriend Buckley had carried out a "deliberate" attack on the toddler in September 2014 and claimed the boy had fallen down the stairs.

Image copyright South Wales Police/Wales News Service
Image caption Sean Buckley and Chloe Thomas

Finley suffered a fractured skull and broken ribs at the hands of Buckley and was taken to Cardiff's University Hospital of Wales but died the next day.

The boy had historical injuries consistent with being physically assaulted, neglected and having been exposed to illegal and prescribed drugs.

Both had their original sentences quashed and jail terms raised following a referral to the Court of Appeal from Solicitor General Robert Buckland QC MP.

"Finley was a very vulnerable young boy who relied on these offenders to protect him," said the solicitor general afterwards.

"I referred this case to the Court of Appeal as I did not think the seriousness of the offending was adequately reflected by their original sentences."

Commenting on the decision, a NSPCC Cymru spokesman said: "Sentencing should always reflect the seriousness of crimes of this nature against children.

"The horrendous abuse suffered by Finley Thomas and the horrific way he died remains deeply shocking. "

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