Tuesday, 2 January 2007

A Brutal Stepfather

On 17 February 1999, a four-year-old boy died after being subjected to a his stepfather's brutality over many months.

Gary Davis was found guilty of murder and jailed for life.

In a statement to the court, the boys' mother, Samantha Jane Tuff, described unemployed Davis as an 'uncontrollable monster,' who 'terrified' her.

The jury was told how Davis, himself a father of five, subjected the boy and his older brother to extreme abuse after moving in with their mother. He regularly beat them with sticks and cricket bats and locked them in cupboards all in the name of 'discipline.'

Staff at the Taylor Road Primary School noticed that the boys had become thin, quiet and withdrawn. Headmaster Chris Hassell warned Leicester social services and the police that he suspected they were being abused. He also warned their mother that he suspected something was up. She responded by removing them from the school. They were thus forced to spend the next two months at home, alone, with Davis.

The ill treatment came to a head, after the four-year-old spent the night in a cupboard as punishment for not being able to sleep.

The court was told that, after Tuff went to work, Davis made the boy jog on the spot fully clothed in front of a gas fire on full power, hitting his feet with a cricket bat if he did not lift them high enough. He then dumped the boy in a bath full of cold water. After repeating the process twice more, the little boy feinted, lapsed into a coma and died a little while later in hospital.

A post mortem revealed that he was underfed and had more than sixty injuries on his body, including a ruptured liver. As the verdict was read out, fighting broke out in court and several people were arrested. Davis' sister, screamed:

"This is a white man's court. Black men don't get justice."
She then turned to Tuff and snarled:

"You're going to get dealt with."
Professor Olive Stevenson, the chairwoman of the local Area Child Protection Committee, said this:

"We know that the physical abuse and the sadism that these children suffered was intense... This child was murdered as a result of sadistic behaviour by a parent."

Which is, of course, true. She then said:

"There were serious flaws but it does not match the horror of some other cases."


Andrew Bunyan of Leicester City Council said:

"Our view is there is no evidence of misconduct by any staff involved. Yes, there were errors of judgement but they were in good faith."
You reckon?

The boy's natural father said the sentences handed out were 'diabolical,' adding:

"Life should mean life, and as far as Samantha Tuff getting two-and-a-half years each way, that is even more ridiculous because for one thing she knew what she was doing."

Speaking of Social Services, he continued:

"They were warned, they were told but they did nothing."
He also said that he wanted to see 'heads roll' in the department.

Some hopes, son.

Some hopes.

A monster and an artist's impression of a woman who was prepared to entrust her small children to one, are pictured below:

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