By Claire Gordon • 28 January 2022 • 16:47
A couple have been jailed after leaving their eight-week-old baby with more than 60 broken bones before she died. Benjamin O’Shea, 26, and Naomi Johnson, 24, claimed paramedics caused the fractures suffered by their daughter Amina-Faye – but they were found guilty of causing or allowing her to suffer physical harm.
O’Shea has been sentenced to eight years and eight months in jail, while Johnson was handed a prison term of seven years and two months.
Doctors came to the conclusion that the injuries were “highly indicative that Amina-Faye had suffered continued physical abuse”, police said.
Johnson and O’Shea, from Southwark in London, were also found guilty of cruelty to another child who is known to the pair.
Their sentencing at Inner London Crown Court comes amid concerns about an increase in child cruelty cases in the UK. Judge Nigel Peters QC said it was “sadly yet another harrowing case of parents being cruel to their children”.
The couple called 999 on 26 April 2019 after Amina-Faye stopped breathing. Paramedics arrived within minutes but she died at the scene. There were no visible signs of injury and the baby was initially thought to have suffered unexplained death but x-rays later identified more than 60 broken bones.
Some fractures were recent while others had started to heal, suggesting the baby had been repeatedly abused, the force added.
However, no cause of death was established.
The couple claimed their daughter’s death was the result of a visit to the GP – reportedly blaming her inoculation – and that her bone fractures were caused by the paramedics.
Police found O’Shea made several calls to NHS 111 between 2016 and 2019 referring to his self-diagnosed PTSD and aggression issues.
In one incident, O’Shea called – about three weeks before Amina-Faye’s death – to report that she was coughing blood, but he failed to act on a doctor’s advice to take her to hospital.
Detectives also found texts that showed Johnson and O’Shea admitting to slapping and mistreating the other child for whom they were convicted.
They were found guilty on 30 November following a four-week trial at Inner London Crown Court.
Both Southwark Council and the Met Police told Sky News that no previous safeguarding concerns were reported to them before Amina’s death.
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