Couple charged after man hits girlfriend's 3-year-old so hard his abdomen ruptures leading to painful death 36 hours later
A couple charged in the death of a three-year-old boy who was subjected to 36 hours of "unremitting and significant pain" and "left to die in a bed soaked in his own urine" has been found guilty and sentenced. According to the Daily Mail, 27-year-old Kayleigh Siswick and 27-year-old Kyle Campbell were found guilty by a jury of seven men and five women in the February 2016 death of Siswick's son, Riley, at their Huddersfield home.
The guilty verdict came after the jury deliberated for just eight hours following what was a six-week trial at the Leeds Crown Court. Campbell, who is believed to have been behind the abuse that killed Riley, was jailed for life and must serve a minimum of 20 years in prison, while Siswick was sentenced to seven years in prison for her role in hiding his actions.
During the trial, the court heard that, on February 4, 2016, Campbell caused what would be a fatal injury to Riley's abdomen when they were left alone for around 35 minutes "either from a fist or by jumping or stamping on him or by striking him with an object."
That blow was reportedly so brutal that his bowel was completely severed, spilling the contents of his stomach internally and resulting in a life-threatening infection called peritonitis.
But Siswick never took her son to the hospital and, instead, kept him home, where he vomited several times throughout the day. The pair claimed that a stomach bug had been going around the family and Riley's nursery prior to his death and that they thought his illness was a consequence of that bug.
Robert Smith QC, prosecuting, rubbished those claims, telling the court that the three-year-old's acute condition "would have been obvious to anyone." He said the evidence showed that Siswick was aware that Campbell had injured her son before and that he could hurt him again.
The three-year-old was found dead in his bedroom on the morning of February 6, 2016, but the pair reportedly waited another hour after finding him to ring an ambulance and call for help.
Smith said the pain from Campbell's blow would have been immediate and that Riley would have suffered for more than 36 hours until he became unconscious and died in his bed.
The pair did not show any remorse following Riley's death, with the headteacher of his nursery school saying that Siswick did not cry at her son's funeral. They also got engaged after his passing and did not split until Siswick's bail conditions banned her from seeing Campbell.
Following the guilty verdict, Justice Turner said that, by not seeking medical help, the couple had condemned the boy to 36 hours of "unremitting and significant pain". He labeled Campbell's actions as an "appalling act of selfish cruelty which condemned Riley to a slow and painful death and deprived him of any residual chance he had of survival," and that for believing the three-year-old had a stomach bug, he was "too much of a coward to face up to the consequences of your actions."
Turner reduced Siswick's sentence as an assessment found she had the mental age of an 11-year-old and is "less likely to notice at an early stage that help is required." He said she had a "lack of insight" into her actions and that it "considerably diminished your responsibility."