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Mother cleared of tot’s murder

PUBLISHED: 16:25 05 November 2008 | UPDATED: 15:40 16 August 2010

THE mother of a 17-month-old boy who died from a broken back was cleared of murder on the order of a judge.  The 27 year-old woman was accused of killing the toddler following months of abuse at her home in north London. She had already admitted allowing

THE mother of a 17-month-old boy who died from a broken back was cleared of murder on the order of a judge.

The 27 year-old woman was accused of killing the toddler following months of abuse at her home in north London. She had already admitted allowing the death of a child but denied being responsible for the fatal injury.

Judge Stephen Kramer QC directed the jury to find her not guilty of murder after hearing legal submissions following nearly two months of evidence in the case.

The judge also ordered lodger Jason Owen, 36, of Wittersham Road, Bromley, to be cleared of murder.

Jurors will now only have to consider the murder charge against the mother's 32 year-old boyfriend, who also can not be named for legal reasons. Both the boyfriend and Jason Owen still face the allegation of causing or allowing the death of a child. Last Thursday Judge Kramer said: "The law requires there to be evidence that the defendant in question acted either as a principal, the person who caused one or more of the injuries, or as a secondary party who deliberately joined in or encouraged the physical abuse of the boy. After hearing submissions I have decided that there is insufficient evidence against the mother and Jason Owen for the case against them on count one to continue.

"So I direct you to return verdicts of not guilty on count one in relation to those two defendants." The mother was then led down to the cells to await sentence on December 15 this year.

A post mortem revealed the tot had a broken back, eight fractured ribs, missing fingernails and toenails, multiple bruises and an injury to the inside of his mouth.

He had also swallowed one of his own teeth. It is claimed he was taken to hospital three times in the months before his death after being repeatedly beaten and abused.

The trial continues.

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