Mother becomes first person to face new child murder charge

A woman believed to be the first person to be charged with the new offence of familial homicide appeared in court yesterday.

Hayley Kenny, 22, faces the charge after her two-year-old son Kieron was found injured at the family home in December and later died in hospital. Her partner and Kieron’s stepfather, Craig Pearce, has been charged with murder.

The Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004 brought in the offence of familial homicide for causing or allowing the death of a child or vulnerable adult. It closed a previous legal loophole which allows parents co-accused of their child’s murder to escape punishment by remaining silent or blaming each other.

Kieron died last month due to damage to his internal organs. Kenny and Pearce, who appeared at Luton Crown Court, have been remanded in custody until the end of March.

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