‘Monster’ jailed: Manchester mum gets life over appalling murder of her toddler son Keanu Williams

By Kimberly Bond

A Manchester mum described as a ‘monster’ after killing her two-year-old son was jailed for life today.

Rebecca Shuttleworth, 25, murdered her son Keanu Williams, also known as ‘Kiwi’, after subjecting him to an appalling catalogue of abuse and neglect over a period of months.

The two-year-old had more than 30 injuries on him at the time of his death and a post-mortem revealed Keanu had suffered a fractured skull and an abdominal injury to his bowel – either one of which was potentially fatal.

The abdominal injury, thought to be inflicted after being repeatedly battered with a stick or rod, had caused a large tear to his stomach – and BITE marks were even found on his body.

Shuttleworth, of Cottingham Road, Manchester, was sentenced to life and was told she will serve a minimum of 18 years behind bars.

Detective Chief Inspector Caroline Marsh, who led the case, said: “Whilst we have today seen justice done, it does not change the tragic fact that an innocent two-year-old boy has lost his life in heartbreaking circumstances,” she said.

“I hope that Keanu’s family can now lay him to rest and try to have some closure.”

Shuttleworth was found guilty of murder at Birmingham Crown Court yesterday.

Keanu was taken to hospital in January 2011 after being found unconscious on a sofa bed in a one bedroom flat in Ward End, Birmingham.

DCI Marsh said: “Our inquiry details how Keanu suffered significant physical abuse that ultimately led to his untimely death.

“During his short life he, and his family, came into contact with various professionals in the world of healthcare, social services and police.

“It is tragic that his mother put greater effort into offering excuses for his ill health than ensuring his care and wellbeing.”

Shuttleworth’s former partner Luke Southerton, 32, was found guilty of a charge of wilful assault against Keanu and was today sentenced to nine months imprisonment suspended for two years.

Southerton, of Hagley Road, Birmingham, was also ordered to do 200 hours of community service and undertake a 30 day activity in victim awareness work.

Police said Keanu ‘slipped through the net’ because he never stayed in one local authority long enough to come to the attention of staff.

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