Mother sentenced for campaign of cruelty against three-year-old son she murdered

Christina Robinson was convicted of murdering her son Dwelaniyah following a trial.

Tom Wilkinson
Friday 24 May 2024 02:45 BST
Christina Robinson, who will be sentenced for murdering her three-year-old son Dwelaniyah (Durham Police/PA)
Christina Robinson, who will be sentenced for murdering her three-year-old son Dwelaniyah (Durham Police/PA) (PA Media)

A mother who beat her three-year-old son with a bamboo cane after claiming the Bible advised the use of the rod will be sentenced on Friday for his murder.

Christina Robinson, 30, had exposed her boy Dwelaniyah to cruelty and excruciating pain over several weeks before she shook him to death at the family home in Bracken Court, Ushaw Moor, Durham, in November 2022.

A trial at Newcastle Crown Court heard she had deliberately immersed him in scalding water, causing severe burns that left him in agony.

She did not seek medical help as safeguarding concerns would have been obvious if a health worker saw him.

Robinson, a member of the Black Hebrew Israelite religion, admitted hitting the little boy with a bamboo cane, but claimed she was following a Bible scripture which advised the use of the rod for the “correction” of children.

After Dwelaniyah’s violent death at the hands of his mother, investigators found a broken cane in her house which had traces of his skin and blood on it.

The defendant, originally from Tamworth, Staffordshire, was convicted of murder and four child cruelty charges.

The jury found that Robinson caused a fatal brain injury to her son on November 5 2022 while she was the only adult in the house.

It was more than 20 minutes before she dialled 999, first speaking to her husband on the phone despite him being 240 miles away serving with the RAF, and then using Google to look at how to resuscitate a child.

When the emergency services arrived, Robinson appeared calm as she explained her false version of events to a police officer while medics worked desperately on Dwelaniyah.

Despite their efforts at the scene, he could not be saved and probably died at the house, although further attempts to resuscitate him were made in hospital.

A post-mortem examination revealed he had been the victim of a series of assaults and had sustained a number of non-accidental injuries.

Richard Wright KC, prosecuting, said: “In other words, somebody had been deliberately hurting this little boy and had been doing so over a period of time.

“That person was his mother, the defendant Christina Robinson.”

In his closing speech, Mr Wright told the court: “He was subjected to a campaign of violence and cruelty by his mother for petty wrongs.”

She was convicted in March but Mr Justice Garnham delayed sentencing to allow Robinson time to seek legal representation after she parted with her team just before the end of the trial.

Robinson was also convicted of child neglect by leaving Dwelaniyah at home while she pursued and affair behind her husband’s back.

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