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Woman sentenced to 18 years for murder of an 18 month old child

Toddler death at the hands of a doting mother of four

In what can only be described as a shocking crime, an otherwise exemplary mother of four has been founded guilty of murdering a fifth child over whom she had just been granted legal guardianship.

Kandyce Downer was convicted after a trial at Birmingham crown court of killing 18-month-old Keegan Downer, formerly Shi-Anne, at the family home on 5 September 2015. A postmortem examination revealed an array of old injuries to her head and chest including septicaemia which may have hastened her death. The judge commented that "As a result of the trauma, Keegan’s brain was incarcerated in scar tissue which caused persistent pressure on it, preventing the brain from growing, and Keegan would have become backwards in her development. She would have regressed from what she could do physically."

Ms Downer was arrested after calling 999 for an ambulance upon arriving home and finding the child had stopped breathing.

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