Parents jailed after baby found dead with horrific burns after they left her in front of a gas fire to ‘warm up’.


Kayleigh Sheard was just 18 weeks old when she was found by paramedics, strapped into her bouncy chair, in front of the fire. She also had fractured bones, bruises and bite marks, reports The Mirror.

Her parents Daniel Sheard, 24, and Lucy Damen, 22, were jailed for six years and four-and-a-half years respectively after being convicted of cruelty by neglect at Leeds Crown Court.

A post-mortem revealed fractures to her right shoulder, 17 separate fractures to her ribs and marks indicating that she had been bitten, possibly by another child.

She was found by paramedics in September 2013, strapped into her bouncy chair in front of the fire which was burning at maximum heat.

Sheard told paramedics he had turned the fire up in a bid to wake her up.

Jailing the pair, Judge Tom Bayliss QC said their behaviour amounted to “protracted if not long term neglect over one third of this child’s short life”.

He said: “Each of you knew the injuries would suggest to any health care worker that the injuries were non-accidental so you sought to conceal them.”

“There is no excuse for what you did. You both have proved unfit to ever look after children.”

In a statement Kayleigh’s family said: “As a family we will never understand how or why Kayleigh was so badly mistreated by the two people who should have loved and cherished her most.

“Our grief has been prolonged for over three years while we patiently waited for the conclusion of the case.

“We will never be able to come to terms with the loss of Kayleigh, albeit her life was very short she gave us all joy. Our hope is now that justice has been done, Kayleigh Mai can rest in peace and we can all try and move on as a family.”

Det Supt Simon Atkinson, of the Homicide and Major Enquiry Team, said: “This has been a deeply tragic case where a four-month-old baby girl has lost her life before its even had chance to really begin.

“Kayleigh was subjected to horrendous treatment by the two people who were solely responsible for her care and wellbeing. Instead, they subjected her to abhorrent abuse and neglect which resulted in her appalling injuries.

“She must have been in absolute agony in the days until she died due to the injuries inflicted at the hands of Lucy Damen and Daniel Sheard.

“Both Damen and Sheard will now be given an appropriate custodial sentences for the offences they have committed and I believe justice has been served for Kayleigh in bringing this case before the courts.”

Share your comments below.

Image via The Mirror

  • Poor little one. Some people just should be denied the right to have children and her parents are of these types.


  • Being in front of a heater like that would be the same as being left in a hot car.
    Nothing will bring the little angel back to life so no term of gaol will be justice.
    She had sustained injuries which would have been nothing short of torture for her. If there is another child they should never have any access. If the “Mum” gets pregnant again she should not be allowed custody of it in any way.


  • Poor girl! What a short and sad life she had! :-(


  • Poor little girl, imagining what she went through brings tears to my eyes.
    Justice isn’t served. Jail for six years and four-and-a-half years is nothing !
    They’re both unfit to ever look after children indeed.


  • The length of the sentences is not enough, not by a long shot.


  • It should be necessary to have a licence to be a parent.


  • I find this unfathomable. To do that to any baby, let alone your own?


  • Longer than 6 years though, that’s just a slap in the face!


  • Disgusting, poor little baby! I hope the parents get everything they have coming- hopefully a long prison sentence!


  • 6 years and 4 1/2 years fir killing a baby. A helpless defenceless tiny baby. No where near long enough. This is murder albeit over a period of time. Absolutely horrendous!


  • They should get life imprisonment


  • how are they appropriate sentences? They murdered her! Give them life sentences!


  • Some people should not be allowed to be a parent. RIP little one.


  • Terrible! Unbelievable that parents could be so uncaring!


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