Posted BY: Billy M | NwoReport

A violent drug dealer has been jailed for life with a minimum term of 24 years for the ‘brutal’ murder of his partner’s son, three-year-old Kemarni Watson Darby.

Nathaniel Pope, 32, was found guilty of murder in April, following a five-month trial which heard that Kemarni had 34 separate areas of external injuries. He was today jailed for life at Birmingham Crown Court.  

Kemarni’s mother, 31-year-old Alicia Watson, was cleared of murder but found guilty of causing or allowing his death. She was today jailed for 11 years for child cruelty and causing or allowing the death of her three-year-old son.

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The toddler was kept in a room locked with an electrical wire in the cramped property in West Bromwich, Birmingham, as he suffered ‘a catalogue of horrendous injuries’ – likened to those of a car crash victim – in the weeks before he was killed. 

Jurors heard that Watson and Pope, who blamed each other from the witness box, continued to live together for several months after Kemarni died from abdominal injuries in June 2018 when his ribs were ‘crushed’ at their two-bedroom flat in West Bromwich.  

Passing the sentences, Mrs Justice Tipples said the three-year-old had suffered more than 25 rib fractures at four different points in time.

The judge told Pope and Watson: ‘This is a particularly distressing and tragic case.

‘Kemarni died on the afternoon of the June 5 2018. You, Nathaniel Pope, brutally assaulted Kemarni in the sitting room of his own home, and knowing he was in extreme distress and pain, you left him to bleed to death.

‘I am sure that you did this when Alicia Watson was out. When you (Watson) returned, you found Kemarni’s lifeless body on the sofa and dialled 999.’

The judge added that Kemarni’s injuries had been the result of extremely severe force ‘compatible with the type of injuries seen in a road traffic collision or when an individual falls from a height’.

Watson knew Pope was injuring Kemarni with punches and kicks and had done nothing to stop it, the judge said, while she also ‘regularly beat him hard’ with her hands.

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