A babysitter who allowed her boyfriend to beat her 22-month-old goddaughter to death has today been jailed for five years.
Sharleen Hughes, 36, had been trusted to look after her goddaughter Ella-Rose Clover while her mother Pagan Clover was at work.
But Hughes’ boyfriend Michael Wild, 30, repeatedly beat the toddler over a period of around four months, eventually punching little Ella-Rose so hard in the abdomen that he killed her.
Mother-of-two Hughes told paramedics and police that she had been at home when Ella-Rose was killed on January 21 last year and encouraged Wild, her 12-year-old son and his friend to support her lie.
Opportunities to prevent Ella-Rose’s death had been missed because doctors believed there was a medical explanation for her bruises and injuries, the court heard.
Hughes took Ella-Rose to hospital and accompanied her mother on other visits as they tried to get to the bottom of her injuries.
Wild was given a life sentence at Liverpool Crown Court on Monday after he was found guilty of the murder of Ella-Rose following an eight-week trial.
Hughes was found guilty of causing or allowing the death of a child and two counts of perverting the course of justice.
As he sentenced her to five years in prison, a judge told Hughes she should have been aware of the risk Wild posed to Ella-Rose.