A mother and her partner have been found guilty by a jury of contributing to the death of a 13-month-old boy.
Ronnie Tayler-Morrison, 22, of Crawley Road, Luton, and Hardeep Hunjan, 27, of the same address, were convicted today (Thursday) by unanimous verdict of charges relating to the death of Tayler-Morrison’s son Noah Serra-Morrison at the home they shared in the early hours of 21 November last year.
While Tayler-Morrison was acquitted of the murder of her son, she was found guilty of causing or allowing his death and cruelty by wilful neglect.
Hunjan was found guilty of Noah’s murder and of cruelty by wilful neglect.
During the six-week trial, Luton Crown Court heard how tiny Noah had died of a massive head injury believed to have been caused by being slammed against a hard surface such as a wall or floor, and had also suffered multiple limb fractures consistent with being twisted or swung.
Following a swift and thorough investigation by detectives from the Beds, Cambs and Herts major crime unit, it was discovered Noah’s mother and her partner Hunjan had allowed for a lengthy delay in calling for emergency assistance to help save the baby.
In the period between the catalogue of injuries being inflicted on Noah and Tayler-Morrison calling 999, the then-21-year-old had made internet searches for the terms ‘My baby is hurt’ and ‘My baby is breathing but not moving’. She had also made a call to her sister, crying, explaining Noah had fallen from his cot.
The 999 call was eventually made one hour and 14 minutes after the call to Tayler-Morrison’s sister and one hour and 42 minutes after the internet searches were made. The pair maintained claims that Noah had been injured as a result of falling from his cot.
Noah was confirmed dead at 4.10am at Luton and Dunstable Hospital. A post-mortem examination carried out on the child showed his numerous traumatic injuries were wholly inconsistent with a fall from a cot. The osteoarticular pathologist also noted 24 bone fractures in the youngster’s arms and legs and including his skull. Nine of these injuries were caused during the last six weeks of his life.
Det Insp Fraser Wylie from the tri-force Major Crime Unit said: “Rarely do we come across a case that involves such sheer malice and utter cruelty against a small child, by two people who were supposed to love and care for him.
“Throughout this case the disregard shown by both Tayler-Morrison – Noah’s own mother – and Hunjan has been evident, not least in the fact they attempted to evade justice by attempting to flee to Scotland whilst on bail.
“Poor Noah experienced fear, pain, neglect and extreme brutality during his too-short life. No child deserves that, and it has been evident throughout our investigation and the trial that Tayler-Morrison and Hunjan chose a tumultuous, drug- and alcohol-fuelled lifestyle over his happiness and welfare.
“Little Noah suffered unimaginably as a result of the volatility of his mother’s relationship with Hunjan, who today has been convicted of the little boy’s murder. Even in his death he was denied any dignity by being left to suffer for more than an hour.
“This has truly been one of the most shocking and sickening cases of violence we have ever come across, and I would like to thank my tenacious, dedicated team of investigators who have worked so hard in all hours of the day and night to bring this traumatic case to a resolution. Though nothing can ever bring back their beautiful boy, I hope today’s verdict can bring some semblance of peace for Noah’s wider family.”
Ronnie Tayler-Morrison was found guilty of causing or allowing the death of a child, and cruelty by wilful neglect.
Hardeep Hunjan was found guilty of murder and cruelty by wilful neglect.
The pair have been remanded into custody until tomorrow afternoon (Friday) when they will be sentenced.