'You are monsters': Family of parents who murdered baby boy Finley Boden say it will haunt them

10-month Finley Boden died on Christmas Day 2020, at the hands of his parents, Stephen Boden and Shannon Marsden. Credit: Derbyshire Police

The family of a 10-month-old baby boy who was murdered by his parents, have branded them "monsters" and say his murder "will always haunt us".

Stephen Boden and Shannon Marsden were sentenced today (Friday 26 May) to life in prison for the brutal murder of their son, Finley Boden.

Finley died on Christmas Day 2020 after a campaign of abuse at the hands of Marsden and Boden, which left him with 130 injuries including multiple bone breaks and fractures, bruises and burns.

Finley was said to be "much-loved" by his wider family, with his maternal grandparents raising him for the first nine months of his life.

Police said he had "shared many great times" with them during his short life.

During the sentencing hearing at Derby Crown Court today (Friday 26 May), impact statements from members of Finley Boden's family were read out:

"When Finley died, part of us died as well. It will always haunt us. We’re so bewildered how anyone could hurt even a hair on Finley’s head."

"I cannot comprehend how the parents of a harmless, defenceless, beautiful little baby could harm him in such a callous way."

Referring to Finley's parents, Stephen Boden and Shannon Marsden, one statement read:

"Although we will never forget Finley, I promise you we WILL forget you both. I can only describe you as monsters for what you have done."

Shannon Marsden and Stephen Boden were referred to as "monsters" in a family impact statement read out in court. Credit: Derbyshire Police

Finley's father, Stephen Boden, was sentenced to life in prison,with a minimum of 29 years.

His mother, Shannon Marsden, was sentenced to life in prison, with a minimum of 27 years.

Mrs Justice Tipples told the court that "the last moments of Finley's life were harrowing".

She said: “Finley died in the early hours of Christmas Day, 2020, in his cot in the bedroom of your home. You both knew he was dying as a result of what you did to him. You deliberately made sure he was not seen by anyone who could help him and I am sure you both knew Finley was dead when you called 999.

"You both wanted a family but you wanted it on your terms regardless of your use of cannabis and I am sure you were under the influence of cannabis when you carried out these brutal assaults. You hated the idea of social care being involved. Neither of you have shown any remorse."

Police said that the final few days of Finley's life would have been spent in immense pain. Credit: Derbyshire Police

Speaking after sentencing, Detective Inspector Steve Shaw from Derbyshire Police said: “Today we have seen a mother and father jailed for what is, quite simply, an incomprehensible crime. Over the course of a little more than a month, Shannon Marsden and Stephen Boden assaulted their son Finley leaving him with 57 fractured bones across his tiny body.

“The heart-breaking reality is that Finley’s last days would have been spent in immense pain – a fact that would have been abundantly clear to both his parents. They knew that they were responsible for those injuries – and instead of doing the right thing and taking Finley to seek the urgent medical attention that he required – they took him shopping in Chesterfield town centre as though nothing were wrong.

“In actual fact, Finley was dying. Boden and Marsden, from the moment Finley returned to their care - to today's sentencing hearing, have never taken responsibility for their actions.

“They lied and obstructed professionals who were attempting to see Finley to establish that he was being cared for in the correct manner. They refused because they knew that once a professional saw the state of the house – and the condition that Finley was in – that he would be taken from their care.

“They conspired between them to ensure that no professional would see Finley and that their awful crimes would be kept secret. But we now know the truth – and they have paid the price with their liberty.

“I hope that for Finley’s wider family today brings a degree of closure – and that they can now focus on the happier times with Finley who was clearly a much loved, and very happy young boy, before those fateful days in December 2020. I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their support and strength during what has been a long and incredibly difficult investigation and court process – and would ask that their privacy is respected following today’s sentencing.”