Sunday, 29 May 2022

Man guilty of murdering partner’s son, 3, after ‘horrendous’ campaign of cruelty

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A man murdered his partner’s three-year-old son after a week of “horrendous” beatings.

Convicted drug dealer 32-year-old Nathaniel Pope was found unanimously guilty of inflicting more than 20 rib fractures on defenceless Kemarni Watson Darb which led to his death.

The toddler was tragically found "lifeless" at home in West Bromwich, West Midlands, on June 5, 2018, after suffering what prosecutors describe as a "vicious, forceful assault".

The verdict was given by a Birmingham Crown Court jury on Tuesday after hearing evidence that little Kemarni’s body had 34 separate areas of external injuries.

Kemarni’s mother, 30-year-old Alicia Watson, was cleared of murdering her son but found guilty of causing or allowing the child’s death.

The four-month trial was told Watson and Pope – who blamed each other from the witness box – were “partners in crime” and continued to live together for several months after Kemarni’s death.

The youngster died from abdominal injuries on the afternoon of June 5 2018, after his ribcage was “crushed” at the couple’s two-bedroom flat in West Bromwich.

Pope, of Wolverhampton, and Watson, of Handsworth, Birmingham, were also convicted of a single court each of child cruelty to Kemarni between May 1 and June 5 2018, relating to the infliction of rib fractures and an abdominal injury prior to the fatal injury.

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The pair were also separately convicted of two further counts of child cruelty in relation to other children.

Both will be sentenced at a later date.

In December Birmingham Crown Court heard that to punish three-year-old Kemarni Watson Darby, Nathaniel Pope would allegedly shut him in a bedroom by wrapping a door handle with a wire so he could not escape until he ‘calmed down’.

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According to Birmingham Live, tragic Kemarni's abdomen had been split which caused a "massive" internal bleed.

A witness – who cannot be named for legal reasons – claimed Pope would lock the youngster in a room "a lot" but "never really" beat him, Birmingham Crown Court heard.

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In an interview played to jurors, the witness said: “Pope used to get the wire and turn it around the door handle.

"It was like some electrical wire that was snapped off. He would wrap it around the door handle.

“Kemarni would just bang on the door and try and get out. [Pope] would just do nothing.”

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