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Kemarni Watson Darby murder: Mother’s ex-boyfriend guilty after weeks of violence towards boy, 3

Kemarni Watson Darby murder: Mother's ex-boyfriend guilty after weeks of violence towards boy, 3 2

Convicted drug dealer, 32, is found guilty of murdering his girlfriend’s three-year-old son after inflicting 20 rib fractures during weeks of ‘horrendous’ beatings that left him with car crash-like injuries

  • Kemarni Watson Darby suffered dozens of fractures and injuries before his death
  • Nathaniel Pope, 32, was found unanimously guilty of murdering three-year-old
  • Mother Alicia Watson was but found guilty of causing or allowing child’s death
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A man has been found guilty of murdering his partner’s three-year-old son after inflicting more than 20 rib fractures during weeks of ‘horrendous’ beatings, including some using force similar to a car crash.

Convicted drug dealer 32-year-old Nathaniel Pope was found unanimously guilty of murder by a Birmingham Crown Court jury on Tuesday.

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The jury heard evidence that Kemarni Watson Darby’s body, which had 34 separate areas of external injuries, had acted as a ‘silent witness’ to his crime and that the youngster suffered ‘horrendous injuries’ in the months leading up to his death.

Kemarni’s mother, 30-year-old Alicia Watson, was cleared of murdering her son but found guilty of causing or allowing the child’s death.

Kemarni Watson Darby suffered fatal abdominal injuries in an assault at the two-bedroom flat where he lived with Pope and his mother Alicia Watson in West Bromwich, West Midlands

Kemarni Watson Darby suffered fatal abdominal injuries in an assault at the two-bedroom flat where he lived with Pope and his mother Alicia Watson in West Bromwich, West Midlands 

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The four-month trial was told Watson and Pope – who blamed each other from the witness box – were ‘partners in crime’ and continued to live together for several months after Kemarni’s death.

Jurors were told the couple ‘failed’ to care for the youngster, who would have been unable to ‘defend’ himself from multiple blows thrown at him. 

The youngster died from abdominal injuries, after his ribcage was ‘crushed’ at the couple’s two-bedroom flat in West Bromwich.

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Pope would lock Kemarni in a room and use snapped electrical cables to force the door shut when he’d been ‘naughty’, until the child had ‘calmed down’, Birmingham Crown Court heard.

The toddler was found lifeless at his home on June 5, 2018. Bruising was uncovered on his lungs, head, mouth, neck, arms, chest, abdomen, back and legs, prosecutors previously said.

The youngster died from an internal bleed after allegedly suffering a 'vicious forceful assault'

The youngster died from an internal bleed after allegedly suffering a ‘vicious forceful assault’

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The ‘catalogue’ of injuries also included scars to the eyes, cheeks, knees and limbs. 

Pope, of Wolverhampton, and Watson, of Handsworth, Birmingham, were also convicted of a single court each of child cruelty to Kemarni between May 1 and June 5 2018, relating to the infliction of rib fractures and an abdominal injury prior to the fatal injury.

Watson cut a defiant and angry figure during much of her six days of evidence – accusing barristers of lying and dismissing the case against her as ‘disgustingly wrong’.

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On the fifth day of her testimony, the 30-year-old suffered a nosebleed and told the jury she was mentally and physically exhausted – and was ‘done’ with giving evidence.

The trial judge at Birmingham Crown Court then allowed Watson to complete her testimony by videolink at HMP Foston Hall in Derbyshire – with the end of her cross-examination limited to just one hour.

The ‘adjustments’ to the normal rules surrounding the questioning of defendants were said to be reasonable given the information given to the court about Watson’s health.

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The pair were also separately convicted of two further counts of child cruelty in relation to other children.

Both will be sentenced at a later date. 

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