Jail for man who watched girlfriend torture son
PUBLISHED: 14:24 17 April 2009 | UPDATED: 16:07 07 September 2010
THE boyfriend of a woman who tortured her own baby after being cleared to care for him by Camden social services was sentenced for his part in the boy s neglect today. Paul Husband, 33, a convicted child sex offender stood by as two-month-old Rhys Biggs
THE boyfriend of a woman who tortured her own baby after being cleared to care for him by Camden social services was sentenced for his part in the boy's neglect today.
Paul Husband, 33, a convicted child sex offender stood by as two-month-old Rhys Biggs wailed in agony because of the injuries inflicted by his mother Claire Biggs in the days leading up to his death.
At the Inner London Crown Court, Husband was sentenced to two years and three months for failing to intervene and alert medical experts during the course of his abuse
Judge Lindsay Burn QC said: "On certainly one occasion before Rhys' death you realised he was in pain from some cause and needed medical help and you did not get it.
"It does not follow that you knew why Rhys was in pain. It does not follow that you knew he was in pain on more than one occasion."
The court heard, however, that Husband tried to get medical help for Rhys on the morning he died.
His cause of death could not be ascertained by medical experts or linked to the abuse but the couple's trial heard that Rhys' short life was spent in "considerable pain and suffering".
Biggs, 24, was sentenced in March to eight years imprisonment for the campaign of abuse on Rhys which left him with 12 crushed ribs, a broken shoulder and a snapped wrist.
Camden Council's social services, which approved Rhys to stay in his mother's care, came under criticism in a case review released after the sentencing which said the council was "over-optimistic" in its assessment of the heroin addict's ability to care for her newborn son.
Husband was convicted of indecently assaulting a former lover's child in Scotland when he was 18 - but his criminal past was never checked by social services in London.
Following the case, the NSPCC called for a change in the law to allow judges to give longer sentences to those who inflict serious harm on children. The charity wants the law of familial homicide extended to include cases of serious injury.
NSPCC lawyer Barbara Esam said: "The law needs to be addressed to cover cases where a carer has inflicted serious injuries on a child - where the child does not die or where it cannot be proved that the child died from the injuries inflicted.
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