Child killing conviction overturned

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The Independent Online
A man was freed by the Court of Appeal yesterday after his conviction for killing a three-year-old boy was declared unsafe.

Paul Esslemont, now 21, allegedly half-strangled Carl Kennedy with the child's Aston Villa shirt and then rained 15 blows on his face with a weapon, rendering him unrecognisable. Yesterday he wept in the dock as Lord Justice Leggatt said that in the light of fresh evidence his conviction was not safe. Mr Esslemont, who lived near the little boy in Willenhall, Coventry, was acquitted of murder in May 1993 but found guilty of manslaughter, by a majority of 10 to two. He was sentenced to eight years' detention.