Woman who filmed disabled stepson, 3, as he lay dying after 'sustained assault' jailed for 15 years

16 March 2023, 13:35 | Updated: 16 March 2023, 13:48

Leila Borrington (L) has been handed a 15-year prison sentence.
Leila Borrington (L) has been handed a 15-year prison sentence. Picture: Nottinghamshire Police / PA

By Chris Samuel

A woman who killed her disabled three-year-old stepson by slapping him "multiple times" and filmed him as he lay dying has been handed a 15-year prison sentence.

Harvey Borrington died from as a result of serious head injuries including a fractured skull and a bleed on the brain.

Leila Borrington, 23, was sentenced on Thursday after she was cleared of Harvey's murder but found guilty of unlawful killing, wounding and assault in February.

A long-running trial was told she struck the youngster several times to the head at her Nottinghamshire home in August 2021.

Following the attack, Leila Borrington didn't call an ambulance for five minutes, the trial heard, and texted the youngster's father who was out at the cinema at the time moaning, "why does this happen to me?"

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Harvey was taken to King's Mill Hospital in Sutton-In-Ashfield on August 7, 2021, and moved to Nottingham's Queen's Medical Centre, where he died two days later from his injuries.

In a heartbreaking victim impact statement, Harvey's mother described him as a "beautiful little boy", whom his grandparents lovingly called their "little man".

Leila Borrington
Leila Borrington. Picture: Nottinghamshire Police / PA

Nottingham Crown Court heard the attack came after a history of abuse towards Harvey, who was non-verbally autistic and unable to tell his biological mother about the abuse.

Jonas Hankin KC, prosecuting, said Leila Borrington "was calculating how she could escape responsibility for her actions while Harvey was fighting for his life."

Harvey Borrington
Harvey Borrington. Picture: PA

"This cannot be described as a momentary lapse - it must be a sustained assault to explain the pattern and number of injuries to the head," Mr Hankin said.

Leila Borrington told the trial she had never harmed Harvey, and claimed that he had fallen off a sofa and banged his head.

But an expert witness called by the prosecution said she believed that the young boy had died as a result of "direct blunt force trauma", sustained after Leila Borrington "assaulted" him.

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