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Man Found Guilty Of Killing Toddler Brandon

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Man Found Guilty Of Killing Toddler Brandon

Post  Susan on Tue 3 Mar - 18:36

4:22pm UK, Tuesday March 03, 2009
A man has been found guilty of killing his girlfriend's young son.



Toddler Brandon Muir, from Dundee, died from a ruptured intestine after being assaulted by 23-year-old Robert Cunningham on March 15 last year.

Cunningham was originally accused of murder but a jury at the High Court in Glasgow returned a guilty verdict on a lesser charge of culpable homicide.

The trial heard from doctors at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee that Brandon's injury would have been caused by a "blunt force" and the child would have been in severe pain before he died.

Cunningham was convicted of killing Brandon after being cleared of wilfully ill-treating him in the six months leading to his death and ill-treating another young child during the same period.

The jury took one hour and 25 minutes to return the majority verdict of culpable homicide.

Judge John Morris deferred sentence until March 31 for background reports.

Brandon's mother, Heather Boyd, was acquitted last week of the culpable homicide of her son by failing to get him medical treatment after he became ill.

Boyd, who the court heard worked as a prostitute to earn money for heroin on the night her son became ill, told detectives she thought he had a 24-hour bug, which he had suffered from on a previous occasion.

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The Tragic Short Life Of Toddler Brandon Muir

Post  Susan on Tue 3 Mar - 18:39

Neighbours said he was a little angel, but 23-month-old Brandon Muir was to have a short and tragic life.

On March 15 last year, his mother Heather Boyd left Brandon with her boyfriend of just a few months in their Dundee flat while she went out shopping.

When she was away, Robert Cunningham assaulted the little boy so savagely that he suffered a ruptured intestine.

During the course of the day, he became increasingly unwell and was vomiting brown liquid.

Detective Chief Inspector William Semple from Tayside police said the mother thought he had a 24-hour bug and was unconcerned.

He said: "In the early evening she went out to work as a prostitute to raise some money for heroin. After that she and Cunningham took Brandon to a party round the corner.

"He was clearly very unwell by this point and was propped up beside the toilet while they took drugs in the other room.

"At around two in the morning they finally called 999 after he became unconscious, but it was far too late by this point to help the kid."

He was pronounced dead in hospital having suffered fatal acute peritonitis.

Doctors say he must have been in great pain and yet, for more than 24 hours, no one bothered to get medical help.

A post mortem examination found that Brandon had suffered more than 36 injuries.

Last week, Heather Boyd was acquitted of the culpable homicide of her son for failing to get him medical attention.

Neighbours say the authorities knew about the little boy's chaotic and troubled home life a year before he died.

Ian Knight, who lived downstairs, said he contacted Dundee City Council's anti-social behaviour unit because of the screaming and shouting coming from the flat.

They recorded more than 60 incidents of abusive language and behaviour.

"It was horrible to listen to her shouting at Brandon, saying things like, 'I hate you and I wish I'd never had you.' I wish there was something I could have done," he said.

During the trial at the High Court in Glasgow, it was revealed that Brandon had been seen by social workers at least twice in his short life.

Witnesses also described how they had seen his mother and Cunningham ill-treating him. One women said she had seen Cunningham throw Brandon across the room 'like a dolly".

Relatives of Brandon's natural father were demanding to know why the authorities had not done more to protect the toddler.

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\'Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.\' Abraham Lincoln

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Re: Man Found Guilty Of Killing Toddler Brandon

Post  Susan on Tue 3 Mar - 18:41



RIP little one!

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\'Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.\' Abraham Lincoln

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Re: Man Found Guilty Of Killing Toddler Brandon

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