Finley Boden: Reporting on the short and brutal life of baby who died at the hands of his parents

ITV News Central Correspondent Phil Brewster reports on the murder trial of Finley Boden

Warning: Readers may find some of the details in this article distressing

It's never easy reporting on the death of a child, but the case of Finley Boden has been particularly difficult.

Derby Crown Court has heard distressing details of Finley's death - how he suffered 130 injuries, including 57 fractures, and burns to his left hand.

One of which is thought was the result of a cigarette lighter, the court heard. Some jurors were reduced to tears as was the judge at the end of the case.

There were also times it felt like this trial would never end. After starting in November last year, it came to a juddering halt after it emerged a juror had been approached by a member of the public outside court.

When a new jury was sworn in there were more delays - Covid sickness, a two-week break after a jury member's wife gave birth, snow, funerals, dentists' appointments - and one day when a juror couldn't attend court when they injured themselves standing on a screw.

As Finley's parents, Stephen Boden and Shannon Marsden gave evidence, a picture emerged of a chaotic family life - drugs, arguments and domestic violence.

When social workers tried to visit the family home in Chesterfield to carry out inspections, they were fobbed off by the couple who told them Finley was either asleep or they couldn't come in due to Covid.

Prosecutors claimed this was a deliberate attempt to hide his injuries. 

Finley Boden was just 10 months old when he died Credit: Derbyshire Police

When the police eventually arrested the couple, they found a house of squalor with bags of dirty nappies lying around - and baby-grows and bed sheets stained with blood and vomit.

In the witness box, Stephen Boden and Shannon Marsden showed no outward signs of distress over the death of their son.

Instead, the couple feigned ignorance about Finley's injuries, preferring to blame each other.

It was not obvious to the jury if they were grief-stricken at losing their child.

Boden and Marsden will now have plenty of time to think about their actions and how they failed the person who should've been the most precious thing in their life - their child. 

Derbyshire County Council statement

A Derbyshire County Council spokeswoman said: "Finley’s death is a tragedy and our heartfelt sympathy goes out to everyone who knew and loved him.

"Following the conviction of Finley’s parents for murder we continue to be fully engaged with the Derby and Derbyshire Safeguarding Children Partnership which has commissioned a local child safeguarding practice review.

"This is a statutory legal process, formerly referred to as a serious case review, which looks in depth at the role of all agencies following the death of a child.

"The review is conducted independently and it would not be appropriate for us to comment further until that review is complete to ensure we do not pre-empt its findings.

"Once the review process has concluded we will be in a position to communicate more fully about this case."