Finley Boden’s parents sentenced to life in prison for murder of baby on Christmas Day 2020
A mother and father have been sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of their 10-month-old baby on Christmas Day during the Covid-19 lockdown in 2020.
Stephen Boden, 30, and Shannon Marsden, 22, were handed life sentences at Derby Crown Court on Friday, 26 May, with minimum terms of 29 and 27 years respectively.
Justice Amanda Tipples handed down the sentences, saying life imprisonment was the only proper term for the pair, who had inflicted “unimaginable cruelty” on their son.
Boden and Marsden inflicted 130 injuries on Finley, including 71 bruises, 57 bone breaks and fractures, and burns. His pelvis had been broken in two places, possibly from sustained kicking or stamping, and he had two burns on his left hand.
He fatally collapsed after suffering a cardiac arrest at the family’s terraced home in Chesterfield, Derbyshire.
Paramedics were called at 2.33am on Christmas Day and Finley was taken to hospital but, despite medics’ best efforts, he was pronounced dead at 3.45am.
Mrs Justice Tipples described the pair as “persuasive and accomplished liars” who knew their son was seriously ill and dying in the days before his death.
“You both knew that Finley was very seriously ill and dying…yet you deliberately failed to seek any medical help for him and you made sure that he was not seen by anyone that could have rescued him and taken him away from your care.”
By December 18, the pair agreed to lie and say Finley was ill because he had Covid, using it as an excuse to keep social workers away, Mrs Justice Tipples said.
She said Finley’s injuries could have only been the result of two people acting together, and that Finley was dying in “appalling conditions” in the house.
“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.
“You both still did nothing to help Finley. Rather, you continued to leave him to suffer.”
The judge said Boden smoked cannabis from the age of nine, while Marsden was drinking and smoking cannabis from the age of 10.
She described regular arguments as a feature of the relationship. Boden could get “uncontrollably and aggressively angry”, she said, but that Marsden was “quite capable of standing your own ground” in arguments with him.
“I am also sure that you were pushed and hit and verbally abused by Stephen Boden in your relationship with him,” the judge told Marsden.
Before handing down the sentence, Mrs Justice Tipples said: “Neither of you have shown any remorse at all for what you have done.”
With additional reporting from the PA News Agency.