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Parents found guilty of murder of their 10-month-old baby boy

The parents of a 10-month-old baby have been found guilty of his murder.

After a four-month-long trial in which a jury heard how Finley Boden had suffered a shocking catalogue of injuries at the hands of his parents – the pair have now been found guilty of his murder.

In the early hours of Christmas Day 2020, paramedics were called to a house in Holland Road, Old Whittington, to report that ten-month-old Finley Boden was unresponsive.

His parents, Stephen Boden and Shannon Marsden, told paramedics that he had been poorly – with a high temperature, cough and a cold.

Following the 999 call at 2.27 am paramedics arrived within five minutes and Finley was rushed to hospital but doctors were unable to revive him. He was pronounced dead at 3.45 am.

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A post-mortem was conducted which found that Finley had died as a result of multiple fractures and infective complications as a result of his injuries.

When his body was examined, he was found to have 71 bruises, and two burns, that had been caused during multiple, separate assaults.

Further examination found he had suffered 57 fractures including 17 fractured ribs, a fractured collarbone, wrist, shoulder, left thigh bone, right shin bone and both thighs.

A specialist paediatrician who reviewed Finley’s injuries was of the opinion that none of the fractures could be explained by normal events – and that it was her belief that Finley was in “severe and protracted pain” prior to his death.

Boden and Marsden were arrested immediately.

In the interview they both denied causing the injuries to Finley – as well as denying any knowledge about how the dozens of fractures had occurred during the 39 days that Finley had been in their care.

Both Boden and Marsden were evasive with medical and social care professionals following Finley being return to their care.

Prior to him being returned to the care of Boden and Marsden, Finley had been seen regularly by professionals and was found to be developing well and was healthy – within five weeks he was dead.

Both Boden, 30, of Barrow Hill, and Shannon Marsden, 22, of no fixed abode, were charged with Finley’s murder.

They pleaded not guilty, and their evidence was heard by the jury during a lengthy trial at Derby Crown Court with the jury finding today (14 April) that both were responsible for his murder.

They will be sentenced at a later date.

Detective Inspector Stephen Shaw, who led the investigation into Finley’s death, said: “Finley Boden died in what should have been the safest place in the world for him – his own home.

“He was much loved by his wider family and, during his short life, knew a great many happy times with them.

“That was until he was in the care of Stephen Boden and Shannon Marsden.

“As a parent you have no greater responsibility than to a child that is in your care but Boden and Marsden could not even bring themselves to take Finley to hospital when it was absolutely clear that he was critically ill.

“They have never given a reasonable explanation as to why they did not do this, but it appears to be abundantly clear that their primary concern was their own freedom – and not the life of Finley.

“The injuries that were inflicted upon Finley were among the worst I have seen during my career in policing and, as a father, it is inconceivable to me how any parent could cause such devastating injuries to a child.

“I would like to thank all of the staff and investigators within both the police and the CPS who have been involved in securing justice for Finley. The impact on everyone who has had any involvement in this case has been huge.

“I hope that today’s verdict brings a form of closure for all those involved – in particular Finley’s family to whom I offer my own, and the wider force’s, continued condolences.

“No verdict or jail sentence will bring Finley back, however, we now know the truth of what happened to him, and justice has been delivered.”

Sir Peter Wanless, NSPCC Chief Executive, said:

“It is deeply harrowing and difficult to comprehend the suffering that Finley experienced leading up to his death, inflicted by the very people who should have been caring for him and protecting him from harm.

“The death of a child in such brutal circumstances leaves many of us asking questions and we await the Child Safeguarding Practice Review to provide answers as soon as possible.

“Finley was one of 36 children who died in England following abuse and maltreatment at home in 2020 alone.

“We know that babies and our youngest children are particularly vulnerable to abuse and completely reliant on the adults around them for care and protection.

“So that children who are most at risk are protected, it is vital the Government takes forward the changes recommended by previous reviews and experts to transform the child protection system and ensure the different agencies involved are able to work together effectively to focus on children and babies like Finley.

“It’s also crucial that everyone does all they can to prevent child abuse. Anyone who has concerns for a child’s safety should contact the local authorities, the police or the NSPCC Helpline.”

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