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Last Updated: Tuesday, 29 June, 2004, 13:26 GMT 14:26 UK
'Cruel' mother cleared over death
John Gray
John Gray suffered more than 200 injuries
The mother of a toddler who died after suffering more than 200 injuries has been cleared of manslaughter, along with her boyfriend.

Lorna Gray, 30, of Dunfermline, and James McEwan, 27, of Fallowfield, Manchester, admitted cruelty by wilful neglect, at Manchester Crown Court.

John Gray died in March 2003, aged 21 months, from an abdominal injury.

He had been attacked repeatedly over three months at McEwan's home in Aston Avenue, the court heard.

Judge Mr Justice McKinnon directed the jury to find the pair not guilty of manslaughter after hearing legal submissions.

James McEwan and Lorna Gray
McEwan and Gray both denied attacking her son

They were remanded in custody to await sentence in three weeks' time and were told to expect a custodial sentence.

The trial had heard doctors found John had multiple rib fractures and bruises to his arms, legs and other body parts after his death.

Gray, of Steelend, and father-of-four McEwan had started a relationship after meeting over an internet chat line.

Black eye

She regularly visited him with her children for weekends.

Prosecutor Alan Conrad QC said people in Dunfermline, were often disturbed by John's appearance following these visits.

He once had a black eye and, later, bruising on his face, chest and other body parts.

He said the likely cause of the injuries were "punching with a clenched fist, kicking or stamping".

But both Gray and McEwan denied attacking him.

Dead toddler 'had 200 injuries'
14 Jun 04  |  Manchester
Two charged with killing baby
09 Sep 03  |  Manchester

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