A MAN has been jailed for hitting a toddler, 3, so hard in the stomach that his bowel split and caused him to have an “agonising death”.
Kyle Campbell was given a life sentence while his partner, Kayleigh Siswick, the mother of the child, was also jailed for not seeking medical help.
Judge Mr Justice Turner told Leeds Crown Court that the pair had condemned Riley Siswick to 36 hours of “unremitting and significant pain” by not getting help for him.
He said that Campbell was guilty of an “appalling act of selfish cruelty which condemned Riley to a slow and painful death and deprived him of any residual chance he had of survival”.
Campbell, 27, was told he must serve a minimum of 20 years in prison while Siswick was jailed for seven years.
The jury was told how Riley was injured in the abdomen by Campbell at their Huddersfield home on February 4, 2016, “either from a fist, or by jumping or stamping on him or by striking him with an object”.
Robert Smith QC, prosecuting, told the jury that the blow was so strong it severed Riley’s bowel, spilling his stomach contents and causing peritonitis, a life-threatening infection.
He said it would have caused considerable pain that “would have been obvious to the person who caused the injury or any adult who saw him after the injury was sustained”.
Mr Smith said that Siswick didn’t seek medical help but “chose to protect Kyle Campbell”.
Paramedics were eventually called two days later but Riley had already been dead for several hours.
The judge said that Campbell’s decision to go along with other people’s belief that Riley had a severe stomach bug was a “reckless gamble” that “didn’t pay off”.
Mr Justice Turner said: “You were too much of a coward to face up to the consequences of your actions and pretended that nothing had happened.”
He continued: “He (Riley) was left to die in a bed soaked in his own urine.”
The judge said he was satisfied that Siswick “prioritised” her relationship with Campbell over her children.
He said he had reduced her sentence to reflect her “limited cognitive abilities” and with a mental age of 11 she had a “lack of insight” into her actions.
He added that this “considerably diminished your responsibility”.
Detective Chief Superintendent Nick Wallen, who led the police operation said Riley suffered a “catastrophic injury”.
He said: “This has been a very long and complicated investigation.
“Riley, who was just three years old, suffered a catastrophic injury and details of how this could have been sustained were heard throughout the trial and subject of expert medical evidence.
“We are really pleased we have been able to secure justice for Riley.”