Viciously beaten, bitten and abused: Manchester mum guilty of murder of tragic toddler Keanu Williams

By Kimberly Bond

A Manchester mum who viciously abused her two-year-old son for months before he finally died has been found guilty of his murder.

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.

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

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

Detective Chief Inspector Caroline Marsh led the case. She 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 cleared by the jury of murder, manslaughter and causing or allowing Keanu’s death, but convicted on one count of cruelty.

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

Shuttleworth, of Cottingham Road, Manchester, and Southerton, of Hagley Road, Birmingham, will both be sentenced today.

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