Baby attack mum faces prison term

Kayleigh Searle
Kayleigh Searle
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A TEENAGE mother who cruelly injured her own three-month-old son – leaving him deaf and blind – is facing a long jail sentence, a judge has warned.

Little Thomas Searle suffered an horrific catalogue of injuries including a fractured skull, brain damage, a fractured collar bone and damaged ribs.

Police today condemned his mother Kayleigh Searle, 19, of Troutbeck Crescent, Mereside, after she admitted unlawfully wounding Thomas.

Det Insp Nina Foley, chief investigating officer for Blackpool Police, said: “Searle has showed no remorse. It’s unbelievable the cruelty and callousness with which she has behaved.”

She was arrested after ambulance crews were called to her parents house in Hawkshead Terrace, Mereside, in February.

Thomas had collapsed.

Det Insp Foley added: “He had suffered severe head injuries consistent with being shaken and sustaining a blunt blow or punch to the head.

“It was not just a single attack – he had historic, healing injuries to his ribs and a fractured collarbone.”

Searle admitted her shocking crimes on the eve of her trial at Preston Crown Court.

She had been expected to stand trial alongside her former partner Reece Bourne, 19, who had earlier admitted a charge of cruelty.

The pair will now be sentenced in October.

Judge Anthony Russell QC said both Searle and Bourne should expect custodial sentences.

He added: “Kayleigh Searle you pleaded guilty to the serious offence of unlawful wounding and I think a custodial sentence of some significance is the inevitable consequence.”

After being called in by social services, police interviewed the two defendants and Bourne, of Harbour Lane, Warton, revealed the shocking way in which Searle had treated her young son.

Det Insp Foley said: “He hasn’t been very specific but has said she didn’t care for Thomas very much, she wasn’t a very good mother to him.

“On a couple of occasions he has seen her throwing him into his Moses basket quite roughly.

“She didn’t demonstrate a lot of affection towards him and struggled to care for him on a day-to-day basis. Searle has showed no remorse whatsoever. Until she has pleaded guilty she made no admissions to police. Bourne pleaded guilty to cruelty but on the basis that he witnessed Searle’s actions and did not report them.

“I think he regrets not having done something sooner about reporting her behaviour.”

Baby Thomas was put on a life support machine at Manchester Children’s Hospital.

Det Insp Foley added: “Thomas has been left severely disabled, deaf and blind and the prognosis for the future is very poor.

“He is extremely brain damaged and his life is punctuated by frequent spasms and fits which cause him considerable pain.

“He spends his time between foster carers and a Hospice. The staff there absolutely dote on him and the care they give him is excellent

“It’s an extremely sad case.”

Police praised the actions of health staff and officers investigating the tragic case.

Searle and Bourne were both remanded in custody and will be sentenced on Monday, October 3.