Mother and her partner who left her baby daughter with more than 60 broken bones before she died will spend Christmas behind bars
- Naomi Johnson, 23, left her daughter with broken bones before the baby died
- The mother and her partner were arrested after the eight-week-old’s death
- The case was today adjourned in London’s Inner Crown Court until 2022
- Johnson will now be remanded in custody until her sentence is passed
A woman who left her baby daughter with more than 60 broken bones before the little girl died will spend Christmas behind bars.
Naomi Johnson, 23, and her partner, former army reservist Benjamin O’Shea, 26, were arrested after the sudden death of their eight-week-old daughter Amina on 26 April 2019.
Paramedics arrived on the scene in minutes and tried to save the baby’s life but despite their best efforts, she died at the scene in Southwark, central London.
Naomi Johnson, pictured, had previously been granted bail because of a health issue but the judge ordered she be remanded in custody before her sentence is passed
Johnson and O’Shea appeared in Inner London Crown Court today for their sentencing, but Judge Nigel Peters, QC, adjourned the case until 28 January 2022.
The mother had previously been granted bail because of a health issue but the judge ordered she be remanded in custody before her sentence is passed.
Judge Peters said it was a case of the ‘utmost seriousness’.
He said: ‘It was only the eye operation that caused me to grant a concession.
‘This is a case of the utmost seriousness and will involve a significant period of custody for both defendants.
‘I’m afraid she will be remanded in custody along with him.’
Johnson and O’Shea (above) later claimed Amina’s death was the result of the earlier visit to the GP and the fractures had been caused by the paramedics
Johnson appeared in court wearing a grey checked two piece suit and an eye patch while O’Shea was wearing a green prison tracksuit.
Both spoke only to confirm their identity.
Tyrone Smith, for Johnson, wanted to use the findings of separate Family Court proceedings in his mitigation to submit that Johnson should get less prison time than O’Shea on the basis that he was the sole perpetrator of the actual violence.
The High Court judgement was published and anonymised, meaning it cannot be used in open criminal proceedings in its current state.
Judge Peters told the court he has written to the High Court judge and they both believe the Family Court judgement needs amending.
He said: ‘We all know that High Court orders with a punishment of Contempt of Court could get us all into trouble.
‘I am not prepared to start the sentence hearing with that issue outstanding.
Ed Vickers, QC, for O’Shea said: ‘Findings of the Family Court judge has absolutely no bearing on Your Honour.
‘He [Mr Smith] can mitigate on anything he likes; Your Honour has to put that out of your mind.’
‘I cannot deal with it today because I’ve got to hear what happened in the High Court,’ reiterated Judge Peters.
He also raised the issue of how both parents, but especially O’Shea, behaved after baby Amina had died.
‘Although it’s not a statutory aggravating feature I don’t see how I cannot take into account the conduct of a defendant who is seeking to deflect attention from himself,’ said Judge Peters.
Both parents blamed the baby’s death on her inoculation and even the paramedics who tried to save her.
The cause of her death was originally thought to be Sudden Unexplained Death but the post-mortem revealed a catalogue of injuries.
Amina was found to have over 60 fractured bones, including 41 identified fractures to her ribs, anteriorly and posteriorly, 24 limb bone fractures.
‘I make it clear that I think the conduct of the defendants, but primarily the first defendant, in impersonating other people, trying to blame other people…that needs to be gone into,’ the judge said.
The callous couple have repeatedly lied about the circumstances leading to little Amina’s death and even blamed paramedics for the fractures.
O’Shea initially told paramedics the day before Amina’s tragic death, he had taken her to the GP for a routine visit and she seemed fine upon returning home.
The next morning, he said that she seemed grumpy when she woke up at 7:30am and Johnson had given Amina some paracetamol before settling the child down to sleep again.
O’Shea also told paramedics that when Amina had settled, he put her back to bed and then when he checked on her about 20 minutes later, she was unresponsive which is when he woke Johnson and phoned 999.
Later in hospital, O’Shea told doctors that they had given Amina paracetamol before she went to bed and that she had woken at 1am.
O’Shea took her to the front room to settle her and Johnson fed her. Amina woke again later and was fed again by Johnson.
Johnson later put his ear to her chest and upon hearing a faint heartbeat and no breathing he ran to Johnson to phone 999 and commenced CPR.
Johnson and O’Shea appeared in Inner London Crown Court today for their sentencing, but Judge Nigel Peters, QC, adjourned the case until 28 January 2022 (file photo of Inner London Crown Court)
As there was no visible evidence of injury to Amina a regular post-mortem was scheduled following her death and it was when the radiological examination was carried out that the first fractures were discovered.
Radiologists found the multiple fractures were highly indicative that Amina had suffered continued physical abuse.
As a result of these findings a special post-mortem was carried out, but no cause of death could be established.
But a police investigation was launched on 3 May 2019 and Johnson and O’Shea were arrested.
Both Johnson and O’Shea later claimed Amina’s death was the result of the earlier visit to the GP and the fractures had been caused by the paramedics.
Johnson, of Octavia Street, Battersea and O’Shea, of Dominion Drive, Southwark, were convicted of causing or allowing a child to suffer serious physical harm in relation to Amina after a four-week trial.
They were also convicted by the jury of cruelty to a second child.
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