A man found guilty of murdering his partner’s infant son after a campaign of abuse has been jailed for life with a minimum term of 24 years.
Kemarni Watson Darby, three, died from abdominal injuries after being attacked by 32-year-old Nathaniel Pope , in West Bromwich, West Midlands.
Birmingham Crown Court earlier heard the defenceless tot suffered a ‘catalogue’ of brutal injuries after months of cruelty at the hands of his mum’s then-boyfriend.
Pope inflicted more than 20 rib fractures on the tot, including some using force similar to a car crash.
He also had 34 separate areas of external injuries.
The boy’s mother, Alicia Watson, 30, of Handsworth, Birmingham, was convicted of causing or allowing the boy’s death.
Today, Watson was jailed for 11 years.
Last month Nathaniel Pope was convicted of murdering the youngster during a violent assault at his home in June 5, 2018.
They were both were also convicted of child cruelty towards Kemarni, and two separate counts of cruelty in connection with two other children
The four-month trial was told Watson and Pope – who blamed each other from the witness box – were “partners in crime” and continued to live together for several months after Kemarni’s death.
The youngster died on the afternoon of June 5, 2018, after his ribcage was “crushed” at the couple’s two-bedroom flat.
Bruising was found on his lungs, head, mouth, neck, arms, chest, abdomen, back and legs.
During the trial, prosecutors said Kemarni’s injuries would have required force similar to that caused by a road traffic collision or being stamped on with a “shod foot”.
In his opening to the court, prosecutor Tony Badenoch QC said: “The multiple fractures to his skeletal frame and internal damage to his body structures revealed he was subject to assaults and mistreatment.”
Watson had always insisted at trial her son must have been attacked by her former lover while she was away from their flat, but also claimed she had no idea how he had suffered broken ribs.
During questioning by Pope’s QC Jonas Hankin she spoke of being “p*ssed off” with some of the questions ranged at her.
She also said she continued to live with Pope for a significant period after Kemarni’s death – but before she was charged – because she did not believe the claims being made about how her son had died.
In a statement Detective Inspector James Mahon, who led the investigation, said: “It’s been a horrific case for everyone involved and I’d like to extend my thanks to the jury, who have engaged and considered everything put before them, they are ordinary members of the public who have had to listen to the details of this case for over 10 weeks.
“Kemarni was so young and would not have been able to explain what was happening, or the pain that he was feeling to those that cared for him.
“It’s absolutely awful that the two people who were supposed to look after him the most were those that caused injury, and in the end his death.”