Inside horrifying squalor 10-month-old Finley Boden was forced to live in by drug addict parents before his murder

30 March 2024, 14:11 | Updated: 30 March 2024, 14:24

Finley Boden was 10 months old when he was murdered by his parents
Finley Boden was 10 months old when he was murdered by his parents. Picture: PA
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

Horrifying images have revealed the extent of the squalor 10-month-old Finley Boden was forced to live in before being murdered by his drug addict parents.

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Baby Finley was murdered by Shannon Marsden and Stephen Boden just weeks after being placed back into their care.

The young baby suffered through 130 "appalling" injuries, which included 71 bruises, 57 fractures and "crushed and twisted bones".

Pictures taken by the authorities show the horrifying state of the flat the young baby was forced to live in before his death.

They show mould growing on his baby bottles, cigarette butts lying next to his bed and dirty dishes discarded across the kitchen.

A mouldy baby bottle
A mouldy baby bottle. Picture: PA
Finley Boden was forced to live in horrifying conditions
Finley Boden was forced to live in horrifying conditions. Picture: PA

Social service raised concerns about Finley's parents' drug use and the state of their home, but he was returned to their care in November 2020.

After returning home, Finley was subjected to a campaign of abuse, with conditions including sepsis and pneumonia uncovered along with his injuries.

Read More: Covid no excuse for death of Finley Boden who was murdered by drug-addled parents, child protection chief says

Read More: Failed by social services: Baby murdered by parents should have been 'one of the most protected', damning review finds

Marsden and Boden were handed life sentences with respective minimum terms of 27 and 29 years at Derby Crown Court in May last year.

At their sentencing, Mrs Justice Amanda Tipples said they were "persuasive and accomplished liars" who "brutally assaulted" their son.

10-month-old Finley Boden
10-month-old Finley Boden. Picture: PA

The Derby and Derbyshire Safeguarding Children Partnership published the findings of its Local Child Safeguarding Practice Review into Finley's death on Wednesday.

It said: "In this instance, a child died as the result of abuse when he should have been one of the most protected children in the local authority area.

"Although Finley's parents were responsible for his death, the review said "professional interventions should have protected him".

It concluded that "the safeguarding environment in which that decision was made had been incrementally weakened by the decisions, actions, circumstances and events which preceded it".

Most of what had been experienced by Finley in the final weeks of his life "was unknown to professionals working with the family at that time".

But the review found that "safeguarding practice during that time was inadequate".

Derbyshire County Council's children's services said it accepted there had been "missed opportunities" over Finley's case.

Executive director for children's services Carol Cammiss said: "Finley's death was a tragedy for everyone who knew him and everyone involved in his care. We are deeply saddened by his death and our thoughts are with everyone who loved him.

"Despite the significant Covid restrictions placed on our work at the time, we know there were missed opportunities for stronger practice and we apologise for that.

"We did not wait for the outcome of this review - we took immediate action to review and strengthen our systems and continue to monitor the way we work with babies and families.

"Safeguarding children in Derbyshire is our highest priority and the council accepts the findings and recommendations of the review and takes full responsibility for its actions in this case."

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