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Mother of abused child Tony Hudgell could be kept in prison longer

Parents Jody Simpson and Anthony Smith were both jailed for 10 years in 2018 for torturing their son so badly that he lost both of his legs.

11 August 2022

A mother who abused her child so badly he had to have his legs amputated may be kept in jail for longer.

Parents Jody Simpson and Anthony Smith were both jailed for 10 years in 2018 for torturing their son, Tony Hudgell, who is now seven.

Simpson was due to be released on licence at the halfway point of her prison sentence on Friday, but Justice Secretary Dominic Raab has referred her case to the Parole Board.

This follows new powers introduced through the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022.

Child cruelty court case
Tony’s birth parents Antony Smith and Jody Simpson were jailed for the abuse they inflicted on him as a baby (Kent Police/PA)

Mr Raab, who is also Deputy Prime Minister, said: “Tony endured a horrific and systematic campaign of abuse from his birth parents, and we are duty bound to do everything possible to prevent another child suffering at their hands.

“So I have referred the case of Jody Simpson to the Parole Board, under new powers designed to keep prisoners incarcerated for longer when their release would put public safety at risk.”

Tougher sentencing for child abusers came into force in June, meaning anyone who causes or allows the death of a child or vulnerable adult in their household can now be given up to life in prison – increased from the previous 14-year maximum.

The sentencing changes are known as “Tony’s Law”, following campaigning by the youngster’s adoptive family.

Tony was 41 days old when he was assaulted by his birth parents, an attack which caused multiple fractures, dislocations and blunt trauma to the face, leading to organ failure, toxic shock and sepsis.

He was left untreated and in agony for 10 days, and the terrible damage meant both his legs had to be amputated.

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