Friday, 15 April 2016
Mum Sentenced To Life Behind Bars For Murdering Baby Son Just Months After Killing Daughter
Evil Lesley Dunford has been sentenced to life behind bars for murdering her baby son just months after killing her daughter.
Dunford, 37, murdered her seven-month-old baby son Harley in August 27, 2003, and was charged with the murder in October last year.
Harley was found dead in his cot at the family’s former seaside home in Camber, near Hastings, East Sussex.
His death was initially believed to have been the result of ‘cot death’ until Dunford confessed to the murder behind bars.
In June 2012, Dunford was jailed for seven years for the manslaughter of Lucy who died from asphyxia just six months after Harley was killed.
Lucy’s inquest was dramatically halted by a coroner following new evidence she died ‘as a result of force’.
A sentencing hearing at the Old Bailey today heard Dunford wrote a confession letter saying she murdered Harvey while in prison for Lucy’s killing.
The court heard in the chilling letter she said “something clicked in me”.
She wrote: “I remember the day very clearly. At the time I put Harley to bed. He had been given his breakfast. I was settling him down in his cot. I left him in his cot. He kept crying.
“Something clicked in me. I went back into the room, went over to his cot and pushed his face into the mattress until he stopped breathing.
“Then I titled his head back to the side and notice he had foam at the mouth and blood out of his nose. That was when I knew I had really hurt him.
“I didn’t know why I had done it.
“I relive it every day. I know what I did was wrong and I deserve to be punished.
“I shouldn’t have done it and I will have to live with it for the rest of my life. I’m really sorry to the people I have hurt.”
Jailing the mother-of-three for a minimum of 13 years, Mr Justice Baker said: “The reality is, had you not confessed to killing Harley whilst in custody, it is highly likely there would not have been a police investigation into his death and you would not have faced prosecution for murder.”
Dunford entered a guilty plea to murder last month having previously withdrawn a confession which she said she only made to avoid a trial.
But a coroner later asked police to re-examine the case after dramatically halting the inquest after hearing evidence Lucy had injuries consistent with being smothered.
Coroner Alan Craze said at the time: “The marks on her neck suggested strangulation.
“Clearly evidence has been given from which it’s sensible for me to conclude that the death of Lucy is likely to be due to an offence of homicide.”
Husband Wayne Dunford, 57, believed wife Lesley, 37, was innocent even though she was found guilty of killing their three-year-old girl Lucy in 2012.
He was then left stunned when Lesley admitted murder of seven-month-old son Harley.
Wayne said: “She had convinced me for so long she had not harmed our kids.