May 2004


A JOBLESS young mum and dad have started jail sentences after their newborn babys tiny body was almost completely shattered in weeks of abuse.

Burnley Crown Court heard how Thierry Jordan Skelly suffered horrific injuries at the hands of either his 20-year-old mother, Annamarie Procter, of Prestwich Street, Burnley, or father Richard Skelly (20), of Surrey Road, Blackburn but both claim they were not responsible and neither did anything about it.

However, appearing before a judge they both admitted wilful neglect between February 10th and March 4th, last year, when they were living in Waterfoot. Procter, who has since had another child, and Skelly were jailed for three years as a judge said it was one of the most horrific cases of child abuse a court would come across.

Thierry, who was 20in. long, had 44 fractures to his ribs, arms and legs, as well as cuts and bruises, caused by squeezing, violent handling, flinging him about or direct blows and cracks may even have been heard when his ribs broke, doctors at Burnley General Hospital said.

The tot was rescued from a life of misery and possible death by concerned shop assistants who alerted health workers. The court heard Procter had not bonded with her baby, but when health visitors called everything appeared fine.

Barristers appearing for the parents said both expressed remorse. The court also heard the injuries were not pre-planned and Procter had had a difficult upbringing.