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Investigation into child's injuries results in two people pleading guilty

Source: Metropolitan Police published on this website Monday 1 July 2024 by Jill Powell

Two people have been convicted of causing or allowing a child to suffer serious physical harm after a thorough police investigation left them with no choice but to admit their guilt.

Vicky Hoad, 30 and Tyler Williams, 28  both of Shenfield Road, Brentwood, previously pleaded guilty to the offence earlier this year. Hoad also pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice.

A third person was found not guilty of the same offence following a trial which concluded on Thursday, 27 June.

The child, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was subject to a campaign of physical abuse and suffered life-threatening injuries.

Detective Constable Ollie Jones, who led the investigation, said: “Anyone who hears the details of this case cannot fail to be sickened by the injuries caused to this child and the impact this will undoubtedly have on the rest of their life. Both defendants in this case either caused the serious physical harm or knew what was happening and failed to take any reasonable steps to protect the child. They continued to lie throughout the police investigation, but our child abuse investigation team worked tirelessly to build the case against them in order to get justice for the victim. This included working closely with medical experts and mapping out a timeline of the child’s life in the months leading up to their admission to hospital.

“This was a harrowing case for all of the officers involved but we are pleased that those responsible will now have to face the consequences of their actions."

On 26 December 2022, Hoad took the child to a hospital in Essex, saying they had fallen off a bike a couple of days earlier and become unwell.

Medical professionals quickly established that the child’s injuries were far more extensive than Hoad suggested, and police were called. Hoad was arrested later the same evening – she continued to maintain her initial account to police and other professionals throughout the following months.

On admission to hospital, the child was found to have swelling to the scalp, missing hair believed to have been forcibly pulled out, an intracranial injury, damage to brain tissue, a fractured jaw, fractured vertebrae and multiple bruises to the body.

The victim also had multiple areas of scarring. Despite their life-threatening condition, they underwent emergency surgery and survived, thanks to the expertise of doctors.

Following Hoad’s arrest, specialist safeguarding detectives based in east London began an extensive investigation and built a significant amount of evidence to prove that the child had been subjected to assaults over a period of months, and that both defendants were implicated in the offence.

Hoad and Williams will be sentenced at the same court at a later date.