Mercy Shawn Mendes
6 July 2016, 07:23
A mother and her civil partner are due to be sentenced for the murder of her two-year-old son.
Rachel Trelfa or Fee, 31, and Nyomi Fee, 29, face life sentences after being convicted in May of murdering Liam Fee.
The toddler died at his home near Glenrothes, Fife, in March 2014, having suffered a ruptured heart as a result of severe blunt force trauma to his body.
The couple denied killing Liam, blaming his death on one of two other young boys, who cannot be named for legal reasons.
A jury of eight women and six men found them guilty by majority of assault and murder after a seven-week trial at the High Court in Livingston.
Prosecutor Alex Prentice QC told the court the women were guilty of ''unyielding, heartless cruelty''.
In harrowing evidence, the jury heard Liam had suffered heart injuries similar to those found on road crash victims, with more than 30 external injuries on his body.
The court heard the pair knew Liam had a broken leg and fractured arm but instead of seeking help they searched the internet for terms including ''how do you die of a broken hip?`` and ''can wives be in prison together?''.
The couple were also convicted of a catalogue of abuse towards the two other boys, including imprisoning one in a home-made cage and tying another naked to a chair in a dark room with snakes and rats.
They were found guilty of attempting to defeat the ends of justice by trying to blame Liam's death on one of the boys.
The couple, originally of Ryton, Tyne and Wear, will be sentenced at the High Court in Edinburgh by Judge Lord Burns.
A significant case review is being carried out into the circumstances leading up to Liam's death after a number of witnesses told the trial they had raised concerns about the toddler's health and wellbeing with social services.