Nov 2011

Witham babysitter jailed for biting and scalding boy

A babysitter who pinched, bit, strangled and scalded a three-year-old boy has been jailed for nine years.

The abuse by Karen Victory, 28, of Witham, Essex, came to light in February when she called 999, fearing the boy was dead.

He had at least 40 injuries including bite marks on his thighs, buttocks and groin, Chelmsford Crown Court heard.

Victory admitted assault, unlawful wounding, cruelty and causing grievous bodily harm with intent.

Prosecutor Andrew Jackson said Victory told police “hour after hour of wicked lies” to cover up her treatment of the boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons.

Describing her 999 call, Mr Jackson added: “She said her daughter had been playing a game involving scarves being tied around his neck.

“She said she had gone into the bedroom and found the victim lifeless on a bed.

“She was worried she might have killed him.

“Later, she started telling the truth, saying, ‘I have bitten him everywhere to get him to shut up’.”

Badly injured feet

Paramedics reported the injuries to police and Victory was arrested.

A doctor described the boy’s injuries as “the worst non-accidental injuries” he had ever seen, the court heard.

It later emerged that, on an earlier occasion, she had badly injured his feet after holding them under scalding bath water.

Sarah Vine, in mitigation, said Victory’s parents had died at a young age and she had grown up in foster care.

She found herself vulnerable and in an “appallingly violent” relationship.

‘Unaddressed emotions’

Ms Vine added: “However horrific these offences were and whatever level of revulsion they quite properly provoke in the minds of those who have heard about them, this was not an act of sadism.

“Her behaviour, whilst appalling and shocking, was at its heart an overspill of the most tragic kind – an overspill of unmanaged and unaddressed emotions.

“I cannot say enough on her behalf to express her remorse. She does not weep for herself.”

Jailing her, Judge Anthony Goldstaub QC said: “He was not your child but you were looking after him as a minder and you had the responsibility of caring for him for a few weeks.

“When paramedics found him he was limp and appeared to be dead.

“He was taken to hospital and hospital staff found some 40 injuries. He screamed when touched.”

Victory, of Foxglove Close, has also been banned from working with children for the rest of her life.