Man convicted of killing two-year-old
Wednesday 04 March 2009
A man was convicted yesterday of killing his girlfriend's 23-month-old son, prompting a review of child protection services. Robert Cunningham, 23, had denied murdering toddler Brandon Muir, who died in March last year after suffering more than 40 injuries, including a ruptured intestine. A jury at the High Court in Glasgow found him guilty of culpable homicide. He will be sentenced this month. During the trial, it emerged that before Brandon died, council social workers had been in touch with the his mother, Heather Boyd, a 23-year-old heroin addict. After the verdict was handed down, Dundee City Council announced it would conduct an independent review of its child protection services. Cunningham assaulted Brandon at the Dundee flat he shared with Ms Boyd while she was at the supermarket. Medical experts told the court the boy's injuries had been caused by a "massive blow" to his stomach and he would have been in "severe pain". Charges that Ms Boyd had also ill-treated Brandon and had failed to seek medical help after the assault were dropped last week. Brandon's father, John Muir, said: "Robert's been done with culpable homicide, which is five to ten years and if he gets five years, he'll be out in a year and a bit. Brandon's life was [worth] more than that."
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