Lesbian couple given life sentences for murdering two-year-old son
A lesbian couple have been sentenced to life in prison after being found guilty of murdering their two-year-old son.
Rachel Fee and her partner, Nyomi, were convicted of assaulting and then killing Liam, Rachel’s son, at his home in Fife in March 2014.
The initially blamed another child for the death.
The pair were also in May convicted of a number of abuses against two other children, who cannot be named for legal reasons.
Rachel Fee was sentenced to 23 and a half years in prison, and Nyomi Free was sentenced to 24 years in prison, following the seven week trial at the High Court in Livingston.
Originally from Ryton, in Tyne and Wear, were sentenced at Edinburgh’s High Court.
Sentencing, Lord Burns told the couple that they had “grossly abused” their responsibility as parents.
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He added that they had made their son undergo a “cruel regime of neglect and ill treatment”.
Liam died after a blow to the stomach that was so severe, it caused his heart to rupture. In the days before his death, he also suffered from a broken leg and arm.
The abuse against other children included forcing one to sleep in a cage, while the other slept in a room with rats and snakes that he was told would eat him.
Detective Inspector Rory Hamilton, of Police Scotland, said: “During joint interviews with specially-trained detectives and officials from Fife Council, the evidence began to build towards a picture of horrendous abuse which directly contributed to the version of events being put forward by the two accused being utterly discredited.
“This was a complex, challenging and sensitive investigation which involved interviewing two young children to establish the level of abuse and neglect both they and Liam Fee had been subjected to.
“It was because of their courage that detectives were able to identify Rachel and Nyomi Fee as being responsible for a wide range of serious offences against three children.”