Saturday, 25 Mar 2023

Devastated mum shares tribute to ‘beautiful little boy’

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The mother of a toddler who was killed by his stepmum has described him as “my beautiful little boy” in a touching tribute. Harvey Borrington died when he sustained fatal head injuries on August 7, 2021. The court heard how Leila Borrington, 23, filmed the tot dying on the kitchen floor and then sent a chilling text message. Mother Katie Holroyd spoke of the memories of her son while addressing the dock in court.

She fought back tears on the witness stand at Nottingham Crown Court today as she said: “He was everything to me.”

Borrington, 23, was found guilty of his manslaughter in February, but cleared of Harvey’s murder. She has been jailed for 15 years.

Harvey suffered the injuries at Borrington’s home in Jacksdale, near Mansfield.

In a heartbreaking video, released after the sentencing, Harvey is seen as the picture of health sipping on a ‘Babyccino’ and eating cake from Costa coffee as he laughs with his mum Katie in the car.

Devastated Katie told the court earlier today: “I wanted to write a treasured memory we have with Harvey, but they are all treasured.

“Even the little things that most people would take for granted like when he would want me to pick him up and dance around the kitchen.”

Out of all the memories she said her favourite was after they had a long walk up the cliffs in Matlock and she had to carry Harvey most of the way.

“We sat and had a picnic and watched the boats, he loved them and didn’t want to leave. He just stood smiling while looking at them,” she continued.

“We finally got him to carry on walking,” Katie added. Harvey had chocolate ice cream and they ended the day playing in the park for an hour.

“Since the 9th August, 2021, not a day has gone by where we haven’t woken up broken by the thought that will never hold him again, hear his laugh or watch him grow up,” she said. “Harvey’s life was cruelly ended when he was only three years old, killed by the very person who was trusted to care for him and protect him.

“To this day I cannot bear to think of him lying on that floor dying with her filming him and delaying getting medical help for him. To have it confirmed that Harvey, before his death, had been assaulted by Leila Borrington will be a lifelong torment for now. A recurring nightmare which I will never be able to wake from.

My beautiful boy couldn’t talk, he couldn’t articulate the suffering he had to endure. He couldn’t tell me he didn’t want to go.

“Leila knew this when she abused him and then killed him in a violent attack. Since that dreadful day in August 2021, we have sat and listened to others talk about his ‘difficulties’, his ‘conditions’ and his ‘diagnosis’.

“Those differences, however, were what made Harvey so very special.

“He was the most loving boy anyone could have wished for, and we will always treasure the short time we got to spend with him.

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“What has been so difficult is the fact that Leila Borrington lied about what she did to Harvey. She chose to lie, no doubt to try and save herself.

“However, this selfish and cruel act meant as a family we had to endure weeks of listening to medical evidence about the horrific injuries Harvey sustained.

“She knew what she had done to him, and she could have said so from the start. Instead, she made the decision to lie which increased our pain and heartache further.”

Katie also said the evidence given by the doctors was “really, really hard to listen to and, at times, me and my mum had to leave court”- as they could not bear to hear the evidence about what happened.

She also said she found the evidence from two pathologists “particularly harrowing”.

“Knowing parts of my baby were removed and sent around the country to establish what happened all because she chose to lie. I will never be able to explain and no one will ever be about to understand what this means to me as Harvey’s mum”.

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