Couple jailed for abusing young boys

A couple were jailed for two years each today after being found guilty of subjecting two young boys to appalling abuse.

Kristina Davies, 20, and Ricky Winter, 23, both of Canterbury Road, Margate, Kent, had previously denied eight counts of child neglect but were found guilty following a trial at Canterbury Crown Court last month, a spokeswoman for Kent Police said.

A paediatrician who treated the children told jurors it was the worst case he had ever encountered in 30 years of practice.

The injuries to the boys, who were both under the age of four and cannot be named for legal reasons, included bites to their genitals.

Davies and Winter also forced the children to stand in a corner with their hands on their heads for long periods of time and screamed in their faces on numerous occasions when they were looking after them in July last year.

During the period the boys suffered an array of injuries including fractured bones, bruises and bites.

Following the sentencing, Acting Detective Sergeant Paul Deslandes, who led the investigation, said: "This was a particularly harrowing case and the children suffered truly sickening injuries.

"This is an excellent example of how Kent Police works together with other agencies to safeguard children.

"Our child abuse investigation unit acted swiftly in response to concerns from a number of members of the public about the boys' welfare and, together with social services, we took the children away from a dangerous situation and prevented them from coming to any further harm.

"I would like to thank all the witnesses involved in the case for providing evidence and helping bring the defendants to justice."

Head of the NSPCC Helpline John Cameron said: "These defenceless young children have suffered terrible neglect at the hands of those who were meant to care for them.

"Sadly, the cruelty these little boys have suffered is not unique. Neglect makes up nearly half of all child protection cases known to the authorities, and this is just the tip of the iceberg.

"Every day the NSPCC Helpline receives calls about children being horrifically mistreated or left in danger.

"Though many people do call us to report children being neglected, there are others who don't act on their suspicions.

"Young children can't get help for themselves. You could be their only hope. We would urge anyone who has concerns about a child to act on their behalf and contact the NSPCC Helpline on 0808 800 5000."