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Amy Howson
August 23, 2006 - December 23, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial
 

Several Government agencies could have saved the life of Amy Howson, if they had only taken the time to do a thorough check. It was reported that the South Yorkshire Police had been in contact with the Doncaster Council stating that Amy was a victim of domestic violence, that was in January of 2007. Due to an improper assessment, Amy and her brother were never placed on the child protection register. Amy's brother made complaints about his father being aggressive, to his teachers and social workers, each of them added to the trouble, by not doing anything about his complaints. Between the years 1999 and 2001, four complaints were never responded to, with the last one being in November 0f 2007, just a month before Amy would be killed.

Amy's last eight weeks of life were the most horrible she had ever been through. James Howson, her father, who was 25 years old at the time, was unemployed and enjoyed smoking Cannabis. Amy was a burden to him and she paid a heavy price for it. It seems that James had a history of violence against women starting when he was young, though he had never been convicted for it. In a report written by a teacher after he had been expelled from school, came a chilling message:

"This boy will commit a murder before too long"

A prediction of James committing murder must have chilled the person making it, to the bone, when they found out just how right they were.  Amy's mother, Tina Hunt, who was 26 years old at the time, was pregnant with her second child and this put a strain on the relationship. Tina had morning sickness and left James to take care of Amy. When Tina returned to the home, Amy was not breathing and she called her father who then called the police. When Police and Paramedics arrived at the home, Amy was lying on a sheet in the doorway with only a diaper on and James was trying to revive her. James told Police that Amy had fallen out of bed the night before and that she had hit her head, James then said he took her downstairs, smoked some Cannabis and then held Amy until they both fell asleep. James woke up the next morning at about 9:30am and Amy was not breathing.

A Pathologist told the real story, that Amy was seriously undernourished, dehydrated and signs pointed to her having been deprived of food and water, with her weighing only 13lbs 7oz, the same weight she had been when she was six months old. Amy had been abused for the last eight weeks of her life, suffering two broken arms, a broken leg and a broken rib and it was said she must have been in horrible, horrible pain, yet she was not taken to the doctor. Amy's life ended when her father took his beatings and abuse of her, to a new level:

"He snapped her back in two at the waste level as though he held her over his knee or thigh or
possibly a chair or sofa back with her down backwards. He then used extreme force on her body
so as to hyper extend the back and cause a complete break at the level of the first lumbar vertebra.
He back was literally snapped in two"
Prosecutor Gary Burrell, QC

"It is inconceivable that anyone looking after this child would not have been aware of her pain
and distress following those injuries and that any reasonable person would have obtained
medical assistance. On any view, it was a fairly horrific type of assault"
Gary Burrell

In court it was said that the injury led to spinal shock and the immediate unconsciousness of Amy, who died in the hospital. Set Supt Carl Sturgess said:

"The catalogue of horrific injuries have been some of the worst I have ever seen
in 30 years of policing"

James of course denied causing the 40 injuries to or killing his daughter. James Howson was convicted of murder after Judge Justice Cox heard what he had done to Amy even after he tried to blame it on Tina:

"This was, in my view, a chilling, brutal attack. The bone was completely dislocated, resulting
in spinal shock, rapid unconsciousness, mercifully and to death. Truly horrific. The jury was
satisfied, on the clearest of evidence, that it was you who deliberately inflicted truly horrific
injuries upon your defenseless little daughter, Amy, from which she died within a few hours"

UNFORTUNATELY, James was sentenced to life with a chance of parole after only 22 years. James was emotionless as he was lead from the courtroom and the judge said:

"I have not seen the slightest evidence of remorse from you for what you did"

Comments from the judge came after she learned that James had dominated Tina and was often violent towards her. What the Judge SHOULD have said was that Tina had a loving grandfather who most likely would have helped her get out of the situation she was in OR that she had options of calling the police and there is NO excuse for allowing a man to kill your child. After Court, Amy's Grandfather said:

"Life should mean life but what can you say. That's justice for you. Twenty two years
is all right but it won't bring Amy back, will it? I have 16 grandchildren. They are all beautiful
and he's taken one away. I idolize them. I'm very angry. If I could have done something I
would have. She was my granddaughter"


Amy's grandfather, Colin Hunt, said that she had been a happy baby until a few months before she died, she stopped smiling and she screamed a lot, he also thought that something might be wrong with her right arm and told Tina she should take Amy to the doctor, she never did. The court thought that Tina surely knew what was going on with her daughter and didn't do anything to help her. Tina admitted that she allowed the death of Amy and was facing charges for that and one count of cruelty. The only motive that was considered was that Tina was pregnant again and neither parent of the baby was able to deal with it.

Tina's sentence was even more ridiculous. After admitting what she had done to her daughter by not getting her help while KNOWING what was being done to her by James, Tina was sentenced to 12 months, which was suspended for two years, the judge said:

"Your level of culpability falls at the lowest end of the scale"

This page was created on May 17, 2013
Death occurred in England

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