'Evil monster' guilty of child abuse

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The Independent Online

An "evil monster" who filmed shocking video clips as he abused a screaming 15-month-old boy was today facing life in jail for his murder.

Darren Newton appeared a loving father figure to Charlie Hunt, the son of his partner Laura Chapman, but hid his "dark and wicked side".

The 32-year-old took pleasure in slapping and hitting Charlie whenever left alone with the child, filming the attacks on his mobile phone and keeping the clips for his own enjoyment, Manchester Crown Court heard.

Jurors and court staff were left visibly shocked as Charlie's screams and cries rang out when the clips were played of Newton abusing the sobbing child.

The factory worker gave the clips titles, including "Crying, no toys in pen, ahhhh", "Squeezing toe in cot", "Two minutes of pain" and "Shivering no water", taken on a November night when Charlie was naked in an empty bath.

In one graphic clip, titled "Happy Slap", filmed two weeks before Charlie died, and a precursor to the fatal attack, Newton is seen to slap the child 13 times on the head as he screams and cries.

Newton, from Earby, Lancs, had admitted 12 counts of child cruelty caught on camera and found by police after his arrest.

Following the three-week trial a jury found him guilty of murder and one count of child cruelty.

The jury, which spent just 40 minutes deliberating, cleared him on a further count of child cruelty.

Newton faces a mandatory life sentence later today for the murder which took place on November 19 last year.

Charlie's parents have branded Newton "evil" and a "monster".