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    Life for mother who beat toddler son to death


    by ODN


    A mother has been jailed for life for punching and kicking her toddler son to death.

    Collette Harris, 30, screamed "Oh my God" and collapsed in tears as an Old Bailey jury found her guilty of murdering 21-month-old Bobby Louch.

    The child had at least 40 bruises and injuries on his tiny body when he died on December 29, 2008. Most of the injuries were inflicted in the 48 hours leading up to his death, the jury was told.

    Bobby had been treated for a broken leg three weeks earlier and was kept in for a scan when bruises were seen on his forehead. A consultant at Darent Valley Hospital in Dartford, Kent sent him home the next day after checks were made.

    Harris complained she was being "victimised" and said the bruises were the result of Bobby banging his head on his cot. She later tried to blame the injuries on her new boyfriend, James Phillips. But Phillips, 25, of Erith, Kent, was cleared of all wrongdoing by the jury.

    The Recorder of London, Judge Peter Beaumont, ordered Harris to spend a minimum of 16 years behind bars before she is considered for early relief. He told her: "This is a terrible thing you did for reasons which are quite incomprehensible."