Detectives from the Police Service of Northern Ireland’s Major Investigation Team have welcomed the sentencing of a woman at Belfast Crown Court today, Tuesday 13 December.
The woman, who cannot be named in order to protect the children’s identity, was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum of 20-years to serve, having previously pleaded guilty to the murder of her young son and attempted murder of her baby boy. An indefinite restraining order has also been imposed in respect of her three children and their fathers.
The events took place on the morning of 2 March 2020 at a house in the Larne area.
Detective Inspector Michelle Griffin said:
“Police attended the scene, along with colleagues from the Ambulance Service and Air Ambulance NI, to find that, tragically, a young boy and baby had been stabbed.
“The boy, who was aged two years and eight months, had sustained two significant stab wounds – one to his neck and one to his chest – and was, sadly, pronounced dead that morning.
“The baby, who was just 11 months old, sustained similar injuries. Thankfully, he survived – having subsequently undergone a number of emergency surgeries.
“Distressingly, the little ones had been stabbed by their mother – a person who should, of course, have been caring and protecting.
“This is a case which will never be forgotten. A young and innocent life was taken, leaving a loving father and family distraught and truly heartbroken.
“Unfortunately, there is nothing – no words – that can undo this loss or ease their pain. And today, first and foremost, our thoughts are with them.”
Detective Inspector Griffin continued:
“This tragic case also brought to light an underlying element of domestic abuse.
"Throughout the case, the father of the children, along with a previous husband of the defendant, spoke of the controlling behaviour and emotional abuse that both had suffered at the hands of the defendant.
"Their distress was added to by allegations that the defendant herself had been the subject of domestic abuse, which were unsubstantiated.
“Domestic abuse is not just physical. It can happen to anyone and there shouldn’t be any stigma surrounding male victims.
"I want to encourage anyone who is being threatened, abused, controlled or intimidated by someone they live with, or are in a relationship with, to come forward. We will help you. We’ll listen to you and we will treat you with total respect and sensitivity.
“Contact us by calling 101, or in an emergency call 999.”