Stepfather jailed for life for murder of girl, three

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The Independent Online
A MAN was jailed for life yesterday after being convicted of murdering his three-year-old stepdaughter.

Leanne White died from internal bleeding following repeated punches to the stomach. She had suffered 107 separate injuries.

Leanne was a 'healthy, lively, bubbly and happy child' when Colin Sleat, 29, moved in with her mother in November 1991, Nottingham Crown Court heard. But she became 'sad and withdrawn' in a regime of violence inflicted by Sleat and Leanne's mother, Tina White, 22, Peter Joyce QC, for the prosecution alleged.

Sleat and White had pleaded not guilty to all charges; each blamed the other for the child's injuries and death. White was acquitted of murder but found guilty of manslaughter and two charges of child cruelty; sentence was adjourned.

The judge launched a scathing attack on Nottinghamshire social services and said a report by the Area Child Protection Committee was 'appalling'.

The dead girl's grandmother, Mary White, said she would sue social services for negligence, claiming that they were called out seven times to see Leanne.

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