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Couple jailed for murder of 18-month-old boy

|News, Violent crime

A mother and her boyfriend have both been given life sentences today for the murder of her 18-month-old son, who died after multiple injuries were deliberately inflicted on him.

On the night of his death, Alfie Philips was with his mother Sian Hedges and her boyfriend Jack Benham, staying in a caravan belonging to him. Alfie was seen by a number of Jack’s family on the evening of 27 November 2020 and was well with no visible injuries, but by the next morning, he was unresponsive and not breathing and his face was bruised.

The trial at Maidstone Crown Court heard that no-one apart from Benham and Hedges had been with Alfie during the night. On Friday 12 January, they were both given life sentences, with Benham jailed for a minimum term of 23 years and Hedges jailed for a minimum term of 19 years. 

A post mortem showed that Alfie had been deliberately injured on a number of occasions, culminating in an assault on the night of his death, with more than 70 separate bruises, marks or injuries identified. There was no evidence of any underlying disease or illness that could have caused these injuries.

Will Bodiam from CPS South East said: “This is an absolutely tragic case. Alfie was killed by the two people, one of whom was his own mother, who were responsible that night for looking after him and protecting him.

“Instead, they subjected him to series of assaults during the course of that fateful night, leaving him with devastating injuries that he could not survive.

“Rather than admitting what they had done, they both claimed they were not responsible for the injuries inflicted on Alfie, even though they were both present during the time the attacks took place and could not account for what had happened to him, acknowledging that just a few hours earlier, he appeared absolutely fine.”

Notes to editors

  • Jack Benham [22/07/1988] and Sian Hedges [02/09/1996] were both convicted of the murder of Alfie Philips on 30 November 2023. 
  • Benham was sentenced to 23 years imprisonment and Hedges was sentenced to 19 years imprisonment on 12 January 2024. 
  • Will Bodiam is a Senior Crown Prosecutor with CPS South East.

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