Sept 2010

Child abuse couple behind bars

A couple who cruelly abused two little boys causing a catalogue of injuries a doctor described as ‘horrific’ have been locked up for two years today.

Ricky Winter, 22, and his girlfriend Kristina Davies, 20, of Canterbury Road, Margate tried to convince a jury the children had injured themselves.

They said the boys had been playfighting, falling off their beds or slipping over in a rock pool.

Both were convicted of eight charges of child cruelty at Canterbury Crown Court in August.

When they returned for sentencing Judge Simon James today said the older boy sustained multiple bruising to at least 14 areas of his body.

His injuries included facial bruising, an ear injury consistent with being pinched and at least two adult bite marks to his buttocks as well as injuries to his chin, back and penis.

The younger boy also had multiple injuries including eye and ear injuries, bruising to his penis and an adult bite mark on his bottom.

He also suffered a fractured collar bone.

Judge James said: “The catalogue of injuries seen on examination was described by a consultant paediatrician as horrific.

“The injury to the shoulder would in his opinion have required the application of brutal force.”

Expert dental evidence was used to establish a bite on the younger child’s buttock was caused by Davies.

Audio: Acting Detective Sergeant Paul Deslandes from Kent Police Click here for textual description.

Audio: Acting Detective Sergeant Paul Deslandes from Kent Police

During the trial Winter had refused to look at photographs of the injuries, saying they made him feel sick.

“The injuries inflicted on these two boys were truly sickening,” said Judge James.

The bites and wounds gave rise to sadistic undertones and the accused put their loyalty to each other before the safety of the children, he added.

He said the regime in the home used abusive and controlling behaviour when the boys where shouted and sworn at, threatened and made to cry on demand and kiss their feet to amuse the defendants.

The little boys were staying with Winter and Davies at their home at Ethlebert Crescent, Cliftonville last summer.

“The boys were regularly and repeatedly forced to stand sobbing and apparantly terrified with their hands on their heads for protracted periods.

“The regime went far beyond anything that could be considered as reasonable chastisement, ” said the judge.

The couple had been asked to look after the boys at short notice and only expected them to stay for a short time but during the 10 days stay, Judge James said the offending involved a series of assaults and ill-treatment compounded by a complete failure to seek assistance for the boys.

“This was not an isolated incident of loss of temper, but a systematic and calculated period of cruelty.

“Neither of you have shown any remorse. There is no information that indicates either of you have any insight into the potential damage your joint conduct may have caused these children.”

Davies will serve her term at a young offenders institution, Winter will go to prison.