Charlie Victor Rossi Hunt
August 7, 2008 - November 19, 2009
A Grave Memorial
Imagine in this day and age, a full grown
man who knows right from wrong. He is a cruel, evil man who knows what
doing is wrong, but doesn't care. This man decides to inflict horror on
the 15 month of son of his girlfriend. This man
decides it would be a good idea to use his cell phone to take video
footage of what he does to helpless Angel. The
man goes to court and is found guilty, the man gets sentenced to life, ONLY, does life MEAN life? Maybe not, the man
receives life with the possibility of parole after 24 years. Charlie
Hunt would be about 35 years old in 24 years, if he had NOT been killed by
Darren Newton for no other reason than he could do what he wanted while
the little boys mother went
to work and Charlie could not defend himself or tell his mother what
was going on.
Charlie's mother, Laura Chapman, met Darren in the early months of 2009
after a moved put her next door to where he
lived, with his parents. Laura thought she had found the man who could
make her happy. Darren seemed to be a caring,
loving man, it was all an act. Months before Charlie died, Darren
started abusing and hurting him while filming it on his
phone. At one point, Charlie was taken to the doctor because he was
having fits. The Doctor thought that Charlie was
just clingy and sent him home. Laura should have kept going back or
changed doctors. One visit is NOT
enough to help
a child who is obviously in distress.
Charlie seemed like a happy little boy unless he was being abused by
Darren. In the videos, Charlie would be seen in a
happy mood, talking or playing by himself and then Darren would walk up
on him and for no reason, start the attack. One
night he stuck his finger in charlie's ear and twisted it while Charlie
cried and tried to push his hand away. Before this
attack was over, Charlie would be kicked to the floor. One night after
that happened, in November of 2009, there was a
need for the ambulance and Darren said that Charlie became sick while
he was baby sitting. After being transported to
the hospital, Charlie died, an hour later even with the staff attempts
to help him.
Darren was arrested and at the beginning of the trial, jurors were
shown some of the video he had taken and given names such as "Crying,
no toys in pen, ahh", "Squeezing toe in cot",
"Two minutes of pain", "Shivering no water" and
"Happy slap". Happy slap is the video taken believed to be the
attack that killed Charlie. Darren slaps him 12 times on
his head while he screams and cries as well as the incident where he
pokes him in the ear. Charlie was forced to stay in
a tub with no water while he shivered from the cold.
What is hard to believe is that when Charlie was examined by doctors,
bruises were found on his body. How is it even
possible that Laura NEVER saw
bruises or never questioned them if she did? Charlie HAD to have exhibited some sign
that he didn't like Darren or was afraid of him, I will never believe
that he didn't. Why didn't Laura notice this and protect
her child? Or, maybe she's like so many others who DID see it and ignored it. With the
time she spent living with this
monster and the six months that he was able to take video of what was
being done, there is NO WAY
she didn't know that something was wrong. NO
The prosecutor, Dennis Watson QS stated to the jury
that Darren took pleasure in being able to hurt and torture Charlie and
that over the months the abuse got worse. It is interesting to note
that Laura was being checked on by Social Services and she had two
which she did NOT have custody
of. Laura was arrested for the murder of Charlie until the police
decided that she
didn't know what was going on. How could they possibly believe she
didn't know anything about it?
Doctors found bruising, swelling and bleeding to Charlie's brain and
his eyes were also bleeding as well as areas of
dead brain tissue and injuries that were thought to have been from back
when Charlie was taken to the hospital and Laura was told that he was
just clingy. At the time of his death,
Charlie was almost blind due to optic nerve damage.
Some court testimony:
In December of 2010, Darren Newton, who
was 32 years old at the time,
was found guilty and the ridiculous sentence of
life with the possibility of parole after 24 years, was handed
down by Justice Stephen Irwin who said:
Watson, QC – You are filming him as you inflict pain on him
Newton – I accept that yes
– He tries to put his little hand up … what was going through your mind?
– Again, no answer
– Is it too difficult to admit you enjoyed doing what you were doing to
him, which is why you did it again and again?
– I did not enjoy doing it
– A helpless baby in reality, wasn’t he? He could not speak, could not
tell anyone, could not complain, could he?
– What were you trying to do (with the ‘Happy Slap’ video)?
– I don’t know, I honestly don’t know.
– Thirteen times, that vulnerable area. Why choose his head, 13 times?
– I don’t know
– Did you take pleasure from the fact that you were being cruel to him?
Newton – No.
– You gave them titles so you could look at them?
– I did not look at them over and over again.
"It was a series of
repeated acts of cruelty for no obvious motive other than the wish to
cruel. Anyone who watches the clips
of some of what you did and I'm convinced you
only recorded some of
you did, will genuinely struggle
to understand why you
came to do this"
The judge said that part of the wickedness that comes from Darren the
way he presented himself as an individual who
could be affectionate and loving with a sympathetic nature, while being
able to do what he did to Charlie without being
found out until the child died, when Charlie was unable to do anything
to help himself. Judge Irwin ordered that the videos
be saved so that the parole board could view them before considering
parole in the future.
Laura and Charlie's father, Richard Hunt, both said that Darren was an
evil monster and Laura said she hated him and hoped he rots in Hell.
Laura said she was upset at having seen the
videos and she and Richard left the court room when
it became overwhelming to watch. Laura said it was hard to watch
someone she loved and trusted, abuse her son. Well,
Laura, think about how Charlie felt when he wasn't protected from that
"A lot of people were
asking did I know or surely I must have known, but no I didn't. If I'd
known, he would never
have been left with Darren. Darren wouldn't have been walking"
After she was arrested Laura said:
"I was arrested and was
horrified at first. But then I realized that the police had a job to do"
Laura said that Darren was bailed out and he seemed a little bit upset,
but not quite like a person who should be grieving. They went back into
the police station and she was told about
the videos while she was sitting in a jail cell:
"I didn't believe it
could be Darren at first. I actually had to watch them to believe it
I hate him. I hope he rots in Hell.
I don't know why he did it, it's been going through my head.
always knew that I would put Charlie
first before anything else. That's the only thing that I
can think of.
In Court, he said that Charlie was my whole
world. I was quite surprised he told
the truth to be honest, but he's
right. He was my everything. Charlie
was an Angel. He was
always very happy, he loved to play and he was a
good eater and a good
sleeper. Any mother
would love to been the mother of that little boy"
On the day before he died, Laura had played with Charlie before leaving
him with the baby sitter. Darren would take over
the baby sitting when the sitter left:
"Darren was a bit
nervous when he first started to look after him. Obviously he'd had
experience with his nephew and nieces, but
he'd never been in a position when had
looked after a baby that young.
When I first left Charlie with
Darren, it was short periods
at first, to make sure that Charlie was
okay with him, the he was happen with him
around. In court he said he resented looking after him, but I
asked him every single time.
Darren to go down for a long time for what he has done. I want
him to get locked up
for life. There were times
I felt like I was on trial but I knew it was going to be difficult, I
knew it had to be done.He is evil and twisted
for he did to charlie and for putting
everyone through this"
"Newton is just an evil
individual and he deserves what he gets. Like Laura said, I hope he
gets locked away for a long time. I
didn't know anything was going on, if I did I would have
stopped it, I
would have done something about
it. When I heard about the videos I felt
numb thinking what a sick
animal would do something like that.
I just can't get my
head around it, why somebody would do that. Why
somebody like him would do this
a 15 month old boy who can't protect himself. I had to walk out of
court. I couldn't
my boy crying like that. He was crying for help and there was no one
there to help him"
Richard said that didn't think he was ever
going to get over the death of his son:
"He was a cheeky little
monkey, always laughing with a cheeky smile. That's how I want to
to a pen pal, from prison that he was innocent even though before the
trial he had admitted to what
he had done. To his pen pal he wrote that he never laid a finger on a
child. I guess he forgets that he actually made video
of what he was doing. Darren had the nerve to say that he wants
justice for Charlie, saying that the guilty verdict against
him was not justice and he said that he had a chance of getting his
convictions overturned, though no formal appeal has
ever been filed.
In January of 2011, some
of the agencies who should have been more
closely involved in the case of Charlie, admitted
that though they could not have predicted what would happen to him,
they need to learn lessons and make changes in
their system. Lancashire Safeguarding Children Board admitted to gaps
in communication between employees and they
said there was a failure to recognize the potential for harm to
Charlie, who they referred to as "Child AB":
"Whilst it was not
possible to predict that Child AB would have been harmed in the
it is alleged he was, there
are significant and very familiar lessons that need to be
how professionals and
agencies can work collaboratively to
report it was noted that Laura had a history of choosing
relationships where she was the victim of domestic abuse
and that two of her children who had lived with her former
partner, not Charlie's father, were taken from her after he had
hurt one of them. The agency admitted that there was enough information
available from the GP who had seen Charlie,
to call it abuse and that it had missed the opportunity to protect him.
They call this a missed opportunity? That is heart-
shattering to me. This was NOT
a missed opportunity, this was a HUGE
injustice that cost Charlie his life. After what happens to hundreds of
children all over the world, EVERY
instance of abuse should be
considered and EVERY child
should deserve to be protected from their
abusers. Err on the side of
the child and see how many lives will be saved.
The boards have developed actions plans to
recommendations, more than 80 to be exact. I have to wonder, what
happened after Peter Connelly, BABY P, who was abused to
death and there were changes going to be
made? It seems to me that when things are fresh in the minds of the
public, promises of change come at a fast pace.
When things are not so fresh, the changes may be put into place, they
are never used or someone just doesn't care. I hate to think that some
people don't care about their job of protecting
children, but that is what I am thinking more and
more about the agencies and the people in their lives who are supposed
to protect them.
Death occurred in
you do not like what
you see printed on this page, please see my DISCLAIMER