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Mother jailed for death of baby son

PUBLISHED: 17:35 10 March 2009 | UPDATED: 16:00 07 September 2010

YOUNG mother Claire Biggs was sentenced to eight years imprisonment today (Tuesday) for sustained violence against her eight-week-old son culminating in 12 broken ribs, a broken wrist and shoulder blade occurring up to 24 hours before his death. The caus

YOUNG mother Claire Biggs was sentenced to eight years imprisonment today (Tuesday) for sustained violence against her eight-week-old son culminating in 12 broken ribs, a broken wrist and shoulder blade occurring up to 24 hours before his death.

The cause of Rhys Biggs' death in May 2008 could not be ascertained by medical experts but the violence at the hands of his mother would have certainly meant his short life was lived in agony, a court heard today.

Judge Lindsay Burn sentencing at Inner London Crown Court told a sobbing Biggs: "Undoubtedly Rhys suffered considerable harm as a result of what you did to him and this must have been prolonged and very obvious to you. You deliberately denied him the medical care he urgently needed. You left him to suffer."

Ms Biggs, who lived in a Camden Women's Aid refuge until the birth of her son, was cleared to care for him despite having had an older child taken into care and concerns being raised by midwives at the Royal Free who treated her.

After his birth she moved in with a new boyfriend Paul Husband in his home in Newham.

He was found guilty of wilful neglect at the court last month but did not appear in court for sentencing today as he was deemed mentally unfit.

He will be sentenced at a later date.

Ms Biggs' lawyers argued Biggs had diminished responsibility because of the "physical, sexual and emotional abuse" she suffered at the hands of Husband but Judge Burn said he did not believe the abuse existed.

He told the court: "I am not saying this lady is someone who never suffered abuse - I accept she has but my finding is that it was not at the hands of Mr Husband as she has claimed. At all times in this case she was in control of herself and what she did."

It emerged after Rhys' death that Husband was a convicted child sex attacker but no police checks had been made on him by Camden or Newham Councils social services.


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