A stepmum who filmed her fatally injured three-year-old as he lay dying on the floor from a head injury instead of phoning 999 has been jailed.
Leila Borrington, 23, will serve 15 years behind bars at Nottingham Crown Court for manslaughter, assault and causing grievous bodily harm.
Little Harvey Borrington was found out cold by paramedics on August 7 last year at a property in Jacksdale, near Nottingham.
Borrington had been caring for the youngster by herself when she allegedly slapped him around the head.
She insisted the toddler, who had been diagnosed as non-verbal autistic, ‘fell backwards’ off a one-seater leather sofa at home.
But medical experts said Harvey’s injuries – which included a fractured skull – had been caused by repeated blows to the head, rather than a one-off fall.
The court heard one medical expert’s view that fatal brain damage was inflicted ‘some hours prior to collapse’: ‘By one or more forceful hand strikes or slaps to the side of the head, followed by a substantial later impact, causing the skull fracture.’
They were ‘all in agreement,’ the prosecution said, ‘Harvey was unlawfully killed’.
Jurors were shown footage filmed by Borrington only moments after the incident, with the boy seen lying in pain on his right side, his arms out in front of him.
She can be heard saying ‘Harvey, Harv’ and lifting his left arm, letting it drop on the floor, as he moaned.
Borrington claimed the video – which she sent to the child’s father who was not in at the time – was to show to paramedics.
Prosecutor Jonas Hankin KC told jurors her behaviour was ‘very unusual in the circumstances’.
‘Her instinct, seeing a child unconscious and in distress having sustained serious injury following a fall, is to reach for her phone and make a video rather than call an ambulance,’ he said.
Mr Hankin added: ‘The tone of her voice, when calling Harvey’s name, in her attempts to rouse him – if that’s an accurate description, we say it is not – suggest an absence of compassion.
‘The lifting and dropping of his arm in that way, similarly, appears to show indifference to the obvious severity of his condition.’
Rather than phone emergency services, Borrington would text Harvey’s father writing: ‘Why does this happen to me?’
When first responders arrived at the home at 2:15pm, Harvey was ‘floppy’ with ‘fixed’ eyes and had vomited.
On the way to the hospital, Borrington texted Harvey’s father: ‘(Harvey) got up and was running riot, playing happily as ever, running between the sofas and then stood up on one and just came backwards … smacking his head off the floor.’
Mr Hankin claimed Borrington targeted Harvey because he was autistic – he knew only a handful of words and used hand gestures to communicate.
This meant he was unable to articulate that he was in pain, he added.
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