Man murdered partner’s three-year-old son after weeks of ‘horrendous’ cruelty


A man has been found guilty of murdering his girlfriend’s toddler after a horrific campaign of sustained abuse.

Kemarni Watson Darby, 3, died from abdominal injuries after being violently attacked by 32-year-old Nathaniel Pope.

This week a court heard the defenceless child suffered weeks of ‘horrendous’ abuse in his short and tragic life.

Pope caused more than 20 rib fractures on the boy, including some which used force similar to a car crash. The child also had 34 separate areas of external injuries, report Mirror Online.

Pope, a convicted drug dealer, was found unanimously guilty and Kemarni’s mother, 30-year-old Alicia Watson, was cleared of murdering her son but convicted of causing or allowing the child’s death.



The youngster passed away on June 5, 2018 from the injuries he sustained

During the four-month trial it was heard how Watson and Pope were “partners in crime” and continued to live together for several months after Kemarni’s death.

However, at Birmingham Crown Court, the pair, from West Bromwich, blamed each other from the witness box for the death of the baby Kemarni.

The youngster died on the afternoon of June 5, 2018, after his ribcage was “crushed” at the couple’s two-bedroom flat.

Pope, from Wolverhampton, and Watson, from Handsworth, Birmingham, were also convicted of a single court each of child cruelty to Kemarni between May 1 and June 5 2018, relating to the infliction of rib fractures and an abdominal injury prior to the fatal injury .

During the trial, prosecutors said Kemarni’s injuries would have required force similar to that caused by a road traffic collision or being stamped on with a ‘shod foot’. The young boy was left with a ‘plethora’ of severe injuries including multiple fractures to his rib cage, as well as wounds to his liver and colon.

Bruising was uncovered on his lungs, head, mouth, neck, arms, chest, abdomen, back and legs. The ‘catalogue’ of injuries also included scars to the eyes, cheeks, knees and limbs, prosecutor Tony Badenoch QC said.

Jurors were told ‘normal’ Kemarni’s extensive injuries could not be blamed on the ‘usual rough and tumble bruising on a child’.

In his opening to the court, Mr Badenoch said: “The multiple fractures to his skeletal frame and internal damage to his body structures revealed that he was subject to assaults and mistreatment.

During the trial, prosecutors said Kemarni’s injuries would have required force similar to that caused by a road traffic collision or being stamped on with a ‘shod foot’. The young boy was left with a ‘plethora’ of severe injuries including multiple fractures to his rib cage, as well as wounds to his liver and colon.

Bruising was uncovered on his lungs, head, mouth, neck, arms, chest, abdomen, back and legs. The ‘catalogue’ of injuries also included scars to the eyes, cheeks, knees and limbs, prosecutor Tony Badenoch QC said.

Jurors were told ‘normal’ Kemarni’s extensive injuries could not be blamed on the ‘usual rough and tumble bruising on a child’. In his opening to the court, Mr Badenoch said: “The multiple fractures to his skeletal frame and internal damage to his body structures revealed that he was subject to assaults and mistreatment.

Watson cut a defiant and angry figure during much of her six days of evidence – accusing barristers of lying and dismissing the case against her as “disgustingly wrong”.

On the fifth day of her testimony, the 30-year-old suffered a nosebleed and told the jury she was mentally and physically exhausted – and was “done” with giving evidence.



Little Kermani died after his ribcage was
Little Kermani died after his ribcage was “crushed”

The trial judge allowed Watson to complete her testimony by videolink at HMP Foston Hall in Derbyshire – with the end of her cross-examination limited to just one hour.

The “adjustments” to the normal rules surrounding the questioning of defendants were said to be reasonable given the information given to the court about Watson’s health.

Watson had always insisted at trial that her son Kemarni must have been attacked by her former lover while she was away from their flat, but also claimed she had no idea how he had suffered broken ribs.

During questioning by Pope’s QC Jonas Hankin she spoke of being “pissed off” with some of the questions ranged at her.

She also said she had continued to live with Pope for a significant period after Kemarni’s death – but before she was charged – because she did not believe the claims being made about how her son had died.

During his time-limited questioning of Watson, prosecutor Tony Badenoch QC asked her to account for 34 non-medical related external injury sites found on Kemarni’s body, including some containing multiple bruises.

Asked how many of the injuries she had been aware of, Watson replied: “None. He had old scarring from accidents but nothing new as far as I knew.

“I didn’t cause them, I didn’t see them. I loved and cared for my child for three years.”

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www.dailyrecord.co.uk

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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