Finley Boden: Shannon Marsden and Stephen Boden sentenced
Horrifying images show that 10-month-old Finley Boden spent his final weeks in a squalid home where he was brutally attacked and then murdered by his drug addict parents. But the impression that his mum gave to social workers was very different.
Finley died in a cot which was soaked with blood and vomit just weeks after being returned to his parents’ care by a family court.
By the time of his death, he had sustained 130 separate injuries including bruises, broken and fractured bones, and burns.
Today at Derbyshire Crown Court his parents Stephen Boden,30, and Shannon Marsden were jailed for life for his murder. Boden was sentenced to a minimum of 29 years and Marsden to a minimum of 27 years.
During their trial the court heard that Finley was taken into care in February 2020, just after he was born and only a few weeks before the UK first went into lockdown.
Social workers had originally concluded Finley was at “serious risk of harm” if he stayed with his parents.
There were concerns about their shocking living conditions, domestic violence, and the couple’s use of cannabis.
But lockdown meant social workers could not make home visits so instead Finley’s mum was allowed to send them photos to show the state of her home.
The pictures the now 22-year-old sent showed the house in Old Whittington, near Chesterfield in Derbyshire, to be very tidy with a welcoming baby nursery, an uncluttered kitchen, and clean floors.
Finley was returned to his mum and dad in mid-November of 2020, just 39 days before his death.
And photos shown to the jury in his parents’ trial showed the squalid conditions that they were living in while they unleashed “sustained, brutal assaults” on their baby.
Baby clothes and bedding were covered with blood, spit, and phlegm. Curdling baby formula in a bottle was found near cannabis paraphernalia.
In the kitchen plates are piled high in the sink, empty bottles, fast food wrappers and bags are on the floor, and empty cans and food packets litter the worktops.
Bags of clothes and balls are in the bathtub with stains of what looks like urine near the toilet.
Sentencing Marsden and Boden this afternoon, Mrs Justice Amanda Tipples said they were both “persuasive and accomplished liars” who “both knew Finley was really, really ill” in the days before his death.
She said: “From all the evidence, I am sure that the injuries were caused on at least two separate occasions, by way of sustained, brutal assaults.”
She added: “He was subject to repeated abuse on multiple occasions. Once the injuries had been inflicted, Finley’s daily experience was one of considerable pain, distress and suffering.”
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The judge went on to say: “It was obvious to both of you by December 16 that Finley was very seriously injured, and he was utterly miserable.
“He was no longer able to sit up and play with his toys. He was unable to feed himself.”
She added: “By the evening of December 23 he was plainly dying. There was nothing subtle about this at all. It was plainly obvious to both of you.
“The facts in relation to the last days of Finley’s life are terrible to describe and extremely distressing.”
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