Mrs Justice Tipples sentenced Nathaniel Pope to life in prison today, with a minimum of 24 years for murdering three-year-old Kemarni Watson-Darby, and his mother Alicia Watson to 11 years for causing or allowing his death. Those sentences also included child cruelty charges.
Here are some of her comments about the pair of them. A warning some people may find the contents of this article upsetting.
She began by describing Kemarni as "a lively, boisterous, cheeky and happy child."
"He had a sunny personality and was loved by so many people, both friends and family.
"They remember Kemarni always smiling and laughing and being funny."
How Kemarni was treated
"Kemarni died as a result of inflicted abdominal injury. The fatal injuries to Kemarni’s abdomen were extremely severe.
"These injuries were compatible with the type of injuries seen in a road traffic collision or when an individual falls from height.
"There were over 30 external injuries and marks on Kemarni’s body of potential relevance."
"There were 16 separate areas of scarring on his body, which were impossible to date."
"There were more than 25 rib fractures which, collectively, were caused by significant chest compressions or direct blunt force trauma. These were caused at four different time points"
Addressing Pope she said, "Abusing Kemarni was and became an accepted course of conduct in the flat.
"Kemarni was not your son and he did not mean anything to you. You saw him as a nuisance who got in the way of your relationship with Alicia Watson."
What was his home like?
"You were both habitual drug users. The communal landing outside Flat 6 smelt of cannabis.
"You Nathaniel Pope were smoking cannabis daily and throughout the day. I am also sure that you, Alicia Watson, if you had the cannabis in your possession, you would smoke it daily.
"I am sure that you, Nathaniel Pope, were under the influence of cannabis when you killed Kemarni."
Nathaniel Pope - life with a minimum of 24 years
"The final assault on Kemarni by you, Nathaniel Pope, involved multiple blows to Kemarni’s chest, limbs and abdomen from fists, kicking or with an object. This was a severe and sustained assault which will have caused Kemarni extreme distress and pain, and that will have been obvious to you."
"You have shown no remorse at all for what you have done"
She listed a number of aggravating factors including abusing his position of trust, inflicting mental and physical suffering before his death, failure to call for medical help, being under the influence of drugs, and blaming his mother for Kemarni's death.
Alicia Watson - 11 years
"You, Alicia Watson, have a short temper and you would get really angry with Kemarni, shout and scream at him and you regularly beat him hard with your hand. Kemarni would then stay in his cot and be really upset.
"He was a toddler, who struggled with his speech and in May 2018 was learning to be toilet trained. That was how you responded to him when he wee-ed and poo-ed on the carpet, took his nappy off and ran around, swore or slammed doors. You would call him a “f****** k***”.
"You are likely to have difficulties in prison resulting from the nature of your conviction"
"I have read the letter you have written to the court, which was handed to me yesterday.
"You do not accept the jury’s verdicts against you and I do not detect real remorse from it.
"You were Kemarni’s mother, in a position of trust over him and bore prime responsibility for caring and protecting him. Kemarni was extremely vulnerable.
"You blamed Kemarni for the injuries he suffered to his head and under his eye.
"Finally, I would like to extend the Court’s condolences to Kemarni’s family and friends. I would also like to thank the West Midlands police and all Counsel and solicitors involved."