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Mother guilty of toddler murder

A woman has been jailed for life for punching and kicking her toddler son to death.

Bobby Louch, who was 21 months old, had more than 80 bruises and injuries on his tiny body, the Old Bailey heard.

He had fatal damage to his brain and abdomen.

Most of the injuries were from the 48 hours leading up to his death on December 29, 2008.

But Bobby had been treated for a broken leg three weeks earlier and was kept in for a scan when bruises were seen on his forehead.

The toddler's mother, Collette Harris, complained she was being "victimised" and said the bruises were the result of Bobby banging his head on his cot. A consultant at Darent Valley Hospital in Dartford, Kent, who had seen Bobby before, sent him home the next day after checks were made.

Harris, 30, of Dartford, Kent, had denied killing Bobby or causing his injuries. She screamed "Oh my God" and collapsed in tears as the jury found her guilty of murder.

She was jailed for life and told she must serve a minimum term of 16 years.

Harris had tried to blame her new boyfriend, James Phillips, who denied killing Bobby or causing the injuries.

Drug taker Phillips, 25, of Erith, Kent, was found not guilty of murder and alternate charges of manslaughter and causing or allowing the death.

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