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Last Updated: Tuesday, 11 April 2006, 15:33 GMT 16:33 UK
Woman let boyfriend kill her baby
Sandra Mujuru
Sandra Mujuru was at work when her baby was killled
A woman whose boyfriend killed her baby is facing a 14-year jail sentence after being convicted of family homicide.

Sandra Mujuru, 21, who had denied causing or allowing the death of her daughter Ayesha, is thought to be the first person convicted under new laws.

The legislation aims to stop parents who keep silent or blame each other for fatal injuries from walking free.

Her live-in partner Jerry Stephens, 37, of New Malden, south London, was found guilty of murder and jailed for life.

He was also found guilty of causing four-month-old Ayesha grievous bodily harm with intent and child cruelty and must serve a minimum of 20 years.

She did nothing to protect her
David Fisher QC

Ms Mujuru, a Zimbabwean asylum seeker, was also found guilty by an Old Bailey jury of child cruelty in failing to get medical assistance for the baby.

The court had heard Ayesha was found with a head injury, wrapped tightly in a blanket lying in her cot.

It was alleged Stephens smashed her head against a hard surface while Ayesha's mother was at work in a local supermarket.

Earlier, he was said to have called the baby "ugly" and "a thing".

Jerry Stephens
Jerry Stephens referred to baby Ayesha as a "thing"

David Fisher QC said: "She allowed Jerry Stephens to kill her daughter because she was, or had been, aware that there was a significant risk that he would cause serious physical harm to Ayesha.

"She did nothing to protect her."

The new Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act aims to plug a legal loophole which has previously allowed others to deny playing a part in their child's death when the partner has been abusive.

The jury could not agree on another cruelty charge against Stephens involving old injuries which caused a brain and spinal cord injury, possibly through shaking.

Ms Mujuru will be sentenced on 5 May.




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