Maidstone, January 13: A mother and her former partner in UK have been sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of her 18-month-old son, Alfie Philips. The toddler tragically died on November 28, 2020, after suffering 70 injuries, including broken ribs and limbs, and traces of cocaine were found in his body.

The accused, Sian Hedges, 27, and Jack Benham, 35, had denied murdering the child. However, following a 10-week trial, the jury at Maidstone Crown Court reached a unanimous decision in under 10 hours of deliberation. Hedges was sentenced to a minimum term of 19 years, while Benham received a minimum term of 23 years, BBC reported. UK Shocker: Teacher Killed After Cow Escapes Farm, Goes Into 'Fight Mode' and Tosses Her Over Gate in Northumberland; Farmer Pleads Guilty for Health and Safety Breach.

Justice Cavanagh, presiding over the case, described the attack as “cruel and brutal” and criticised the pair for their attempts to cover up the assault. He stated, “Your first thoughts were for yourselves. You lied about what had happened in the caravan, and you maintained your lies through police interviews and at trial.” UK Shocker: Woman Chokes to Death on Stage During Marshmallow-Eating Challenge in South Wales.

The assault took place during the night in Benham’s caravan situated in Hernhill. In a victim impact statement read in court, Alfie’s father, Sam Phillips, expressed his grief and frustration, stating, “After the trial, we still feel we deserve answers. I will never know the truth about what happened to my son. I never got to hear him say his first proper words, I never got to have a conversation with him, I was robbed of the opportunity to see him grow up.”

In his sentencing remarks, Justice Cavanagh lamented the “great tragedy” that Alfie did not have the chance to “enjoy a full and happy life”. He described Alfie as a child with a “cheeky grin” who was “full of energy and life” and “melted the hearts of everyone he met.”

The sentences for both Hedges and Benham take into account the 313 days they have already spent in custody on remand.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jan 13, 2024 06:57 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website