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Killer mother's minimum term raised


Emma Wilson's minimum term was raised to 17 years by judges.

Emma Wilson's minimum term was raised to 17 years by judges.

Emma Wilson's minimum term was raised to 17 years by judges.

A mother convicted of murdering her 11-month-old son has had her "unduly lenient" sentence increased by leading judges.

Emma Wilson, 26, from Windsor, Berkshire, was present in the dock at the Court of Appeal in London as the three judges announced their agreement with Solicitor General Oliver Heald that her minimum term of 14 years was too low - and raised it to 17 years.

Wilson, who denied murdering son Callum, was convicted at the Old Bailey last December and sentenced to life imprisonment, with the minimum term of 14 years, on January 24.

Callum died in March 2011 after suffering a fatal brain injury.

Lord Justice Treacy, sitting with Mr Justice Spencer and Mrs Justice Simler, ruled today that the "aggravating" factors of the case "considerably outweigh the mitigation", so that the minimum term imposed by the sentencing judge was "indeed unduly lenient".

He added: "We consider that in the circumstances, the least sentence which could have been passed by way of minimum term was one of 17 years."

As the decision was given and Wilson was led from court, a woman in the public gallery shouted out: "We know you are innocent. We will get you out, don't you worry. Love you."

The minimum term is the least time a prisoner must serve before becoming eligible to apply for parole.

Speaking after the hearing, the Solicitor General said: " This young boy tragically lost his life as a result of the injuries inflicted on him by his mother.

"I asked the Court of Appeal to look again at this sentence, as despite it being a life sentence with a term of 14 years minimum, the fact remains that Wilson denied the murder, and maintained that stance at trial.

"I am glad the Court of Appeal accepted our argument today and increased the minimum term to 17 years and I can only hope this offers some degree of reassurance to the public."

Lord Justice Treacy said the child received a number of serious injuries in the "fortnight or so prior to his death", including nine fractures to his ribs.

During the hearing, the judges heard argument that the suffering inflicted on Callum in early March 2011 through the fractures "amounts to an aggravating feature that should have been given much greater weight in determining the minimum term".

Lord Justice Treacy said the court had seen prison reports on Wilson and "it appeared that this offender is still in denial in relation to this offence".

At the Old Bailey trial, the prosecution said it was not its case that Wilson intended to kill her son, but she carried out a "violent act" against a "vulberable" child.