Couple jailed after their baby died with more than 60 broken bones

Benjamin O’Shea and Naomi Johnson Credit: Met Police

A couple whose eight-week old baby died after suffering more than 60 broken bones have been jailed.

Benjamin O’Shea, 26, and Naomi Johnson, 24, from Southwark, were sentenced to eight and a half years and seven years, respectively, at Inner London Crown Court on Friday.

The pair were found guilty in November of causing or allowing a child to suffer serious physical harm in relation to the death of their eight-week-old daughter Amina-Faye Johnson in April 2019.

They were also found guilty of cruelty to another child, with the crimes described by the Metropolitan Police as "monstrous".

Amina was eight weeks old when she died

Radiologists found multiple fractures on the baby that were "highly indicative that Amina had suffered continued physical abuse" at the hands of O’Shea and Johnson, police said.

After their arrest in May, the pair tried to blame the baby's death on a visit to the GP for routine inoculations and claimed the paramedics had caused the fractures.

Judge Nigel Peters QC, sentencing at Inner London Crown Court, said that "sadly" this is "yet another harrowing case of parents abusing or being cruel to their child", adding that "there is no doubt that this is a case of the highest seriousness in terms of cruelty to children in terms of the injuries".

Benjamin O'Shea

The pair called 999 on the morning of April 26, 2019, after Amina stopped breathing. It was initially thought that she had suffered a sudden unexplained death until X-rays revealed a catalogue of injuries inflicted on her by O'Shea and Johnson.

An expert in Osteoarticular Pathology said the fractures could not have been caused accidentally and said Amina had suffered limb and rib fractures on at least nine occasions.

Her injuries also suggested the baby had previously suffered bleeding in her head.

Naomi Johnson

It was not possible to lay blame on which parent caused the fatal injuries and who stood back and allowed it to happen, the court heard.

O’Shea, a former army reservist, had made several calls to NHS 111 between 2016 and 2019 referring to his self-diagnosed PTSD and his aggression issues, police said.

In text messages between the pair, Johnson admitted to mistreating the other child they were convicted of cruelty to in separate charges.

O'Shea and Johnson were sentenced at Inner London Crown Court

Detective Inspector Melanie Pressley, who led the investigation said: "This is a truly heart-breaking case that has touched all of us who have worked on bringing Johnson and O’Shea before the court for their monstrous crimes.

"The cruelty and callousness with which the pair discussed the treatment of the other child in this case is shocking. Children depend on adults and the children in this case were sorely betrayed by Johnson and O’Shea in the most tragic of ways.

'Incomprehensible... how an adult can inflict such cruelty on defenceless, innocent children'

"In eight weeks of life Amina suffered an unimaginable number of injuries. The trauma she endured in her short life is impossible to comprehend, her injuries are a catalogue of the most despicable abuse. Equally incomprehensible is how an adult can inflict such cruelty on defenceless, innocent children.

"Throughout our investigation we have been unable to establish how the baby died and Johnson and O’Shea have been steadfast in their refusal to answer our questions. They have sought to protect themselves in a way they clearly did not for the two children in this case."

The NSPCC calls on steps the government can take

Helen Westerman, head of local campaigns at the NSPCC, said: “Johnson and O’Shea should have been providing baby Amina-Faye with love and care, but instead they subjected her to an appalling campaign of cruelty and abuse throughout her really short life.

“It’s just a really tragic case.”

Both of them were also each given two months, to be served consecutively, after being found guilty of cruelty to a person under-16 in relation to a separate child.