Pair handed life sentences for Christmas Day murder of 10-month-old baby

Pair handed life sentences for Christmas Day murder of 10-month-old baby

TWO people have been handed life sentences after being found guilty of the murder of their 10-month-old baby son.

Finley Boden sustained 57 fractures, two burns and 71 brusises despite only being in his parents' care for less than six weeks.

Stephen Boden, 30, of Barrow Hill, Derbyshire and Shannon Marsden, 22, of no fixed abode, were last month found guilty of the tot's murder.

At Derby Crown Court on Friday, Boden was told he must serve a minimum of 29 years in prison before being eligible for parole, while Marsden must remain behind bars for at least 27 years.

"Today we have seen a mother and father jailed for what is, quite simply, an incomprehensible crime," said Detective Inspector Stephen Shaw, who led the investigation into Finley's death.

"Over the course of a little more than a month, Shannon Marsden and Stephen Boden assaulted their son Finley leaving him with 57 fractured bones across his tiny body."

'Severe and protracted pain'

In the early hours of Christmas Day 2020, paramedics were called to a house in Holland Road, Old Whittington, Derbyshire to reports that 10-month-old Finley was unresponsive.

Boden and Marsden told the paramedics that their son had been poorly, with a high temperature, cough and a cold.

Finley was rushed to hospital but doctors were unable to revive him and he was pronounced dead at 3.45am.

A post-mortem found that Finley had died as a result of multiple fractures and infective complications as a result of his injuries.

Finley had sustained 57 fractures (Image: Derbyshire Constabulary)

He was found to have 71 bruises and two burns that had been caused during multiple, separate assaults.

Further examination found that he had suffered 57 fractures including 17 fractured ribs and fractures to his collarbone, wrist, shoulder, left thigh bone, right shin bone and both thighs.

A specialist paediatrician who reviewed Finley's injuries was of the opinion that none of the fractures could be explained by normal events.

She said that it was her belief that Finley was in 'severe and protracted pain' prior to his death.

Boden must serve a minimum of 29 years in prison while Marsden was jailed for at least 27 years (Images: Derbyshire Constabulary)

Both Boden and Marsden were arrested but denied causing Finley's injuries and said they had no knowledge of how the fractures occurred during the 39 days he was in their care.

Prior to him being returned to his parents, Finley had been seen regularly by professionals and was found to be developing well and was healthy.

However, once Finley was back in their care, Boden and Marsden became evasive with medical and social care professionals.

Shopped as baby was dying

"The heart-breaking reality is that Finley's last days would have been spent in immense pain – a fact that would have been abundantly clear to both his parents," added DI Shaw.

"They knew that they were responsible for those injuries but instead of doing the right thing and taking Finley to seek the urgent medical attention that he required, they took him shopping in Chesterfield town centre as though nothing were wrong.

"In fact, Finley was dying.

"Boden and Marsden, from the moment Finley returned to their care, to the point where they entered the court room, have never taken responsibility for their actions.

"They lied and obstructed professionals who were attempting to see Finley to establish that he was being cared for in the correct manner.

"They refused because they knew that once a professional saw the state of the house — and the condition that Finley was in — that he would be taken from their care.

"They conspired between them to ensure that no professional would see Finley and that their awful crimes would be kept secret.

"But we now know the truth – and they have paid the price with their liberty."