Leila Borrington, a 23-year-old woman, was sentenced to 15 years in prison for manslaughter, assault, and causing great bodily harm after she recorded her three-year-old stepson, Harvey Borrington, while he was dying from a brain injury. Let’s see Who is Leila Borrington and What happened to her stepson Harvey Borrington in detail.
Who is Leila Borrington?
Harvey Borrington, 23, who had severe non-verbal autism, was slapped “many times” by Leila Borrington, 23, in what the judge described as a “sustained violent assault,” before he was killed. Harvey was attacked twice by Borrington in the four months before his murder, the court was told, leaving him with a fractured arm and facial scars.
When paramedics were sent to Borrington’s home in Jacksdale, close to Kirkby-in-Ashfield in Nottinghamshire in August 2021, Borrington lied to them about what had happened to Harvey, according to testimony presented at Nottingham Crown Court.
She had stated that Harvey had at home “fell backwards” from a one-seater leather sofa. However, the court was informed that she had given Harvey “unsurvivable” wounds, including a skull fracture, and texted Harvey’s father, saying, “Why does this happen to me?”.
What happened to her stepson Harvey Borrington?
Harvey was assaulted by Borrington in the house she and Harvey’s father lived in on Main Road in Jacksdale. Two days after paramedics were called and discovered Harvey “completely unconscious,” “unresponsive,” and with “abnormal body posture,” Harvey, who frequently spent the weekends with Borrington, passed away in a hospital on August 9.
Katie Holroyd, Harvey’s biological mother, cried when she testified in court, saying:
“To this day I can’t bear to think of him lying on that floor with him dying and her filming him, delaying getting medical help for him.”
She was seen holding Harvey’s left arm, lifting it high, and letting it fall carelessly to the ground on the phone video that Borrington recorded. Then, while he lay still on the living room floor, she kept filming.
Harvey had a history of abuse from Borrington, the court heard and was killed as a result. Harvey’s age and disability made him vulnerable, which were aggravating factors, according to prosecutor Jonas Hankin KC.
Mr Hankin said,
“He was severely non-verbally autistic,”
“His challenging behaviour demanded greater empathy and kindness from his carers. It cannot justify the defendant’s offending in any way.”
Borrington claimed during the trial that she had never hurt Harvey and that he had only suffered a head injury after falling off a sofa. However, a prosecution-called expert witness stated that she thought Harvey had passed away as a result of “direct blunt force trauma,” which was inflicted when Borrington assaulted the child.
Detective Inspector Simon Harrison, of Nottinghamshire Police, said:
“This was a tragic incident that shocked the local community.
“Harvey was a much-loved little boy who was cherished by his parents and his wider family.
“As a police officer I am pleased with the decision of the jury in this case, but I acutely aware that it is of no consolation to those left behind.
“This has been a very lengthy and difficult investigation and I would like to thank everyone involved in getting us to this point.”
Borrington was sentenced, and Mr. Justice Nicklin told her,
“Precisely what happened to Harvey only you know, but by their verdict the jury were sure that your account of Harvey having fallen, hitting his head on the floor, was not the truth or at least not the full truth.
“The jury’s verdict shows they were sure you had assaulted Harvey, causing the very serious head injuries that led to his death.”
Borrington was also found guilty of assault resulting in actual bodily harm for pinching Harvey’s cheeks and causing grievous bodily harm for previously breaking his arm. For these offences, she was handed a two-year jail term and a six-month term that will run concurrently with her manslaughter sentence. She would complete two-thirds of the 15-year prison term before being granted a license, he added. He was “my world,” according to Harvey’s mother, and was a “treasured grandson” to her parents.
She told the court,
“To have it confirmed that Harvey before his death had been assaulted by Leila Borrington will be a life-long trauma for me, a recurring nightmare which I will never be able to wake from.”
She cried as she described how her son’s disabilities prevented him from telling her about his stepmother’s mistreatment.
“He couldn’t tell me he didn’t want to go [to stay with Borrington].”
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