Evil foster mum Kandyce Downer has been jailed for life for battering 18-month-old toddler Keegan Downer to death after offering her a supposed loving home.
The 35-year-old was convicted on Tuesday, May 3 after a trial at Birmingham crown court of killing Keegan, formerly Shi-Anne at the family home on September 5, 2015.
Downer took in the little girl at her home in Beckbury Road, Weoley Castle, in January The 2015 after she was born to a heroin-addict mother. But she died in September last year from septicaemia, infection, blunt chest trauma and an old head injury after Downer inflicted more than 120 separate injuries on the youngster.
“It is a horrific tale of callous conduct,” Mrs Justice Frances Patterson sain while sentencing Downer. ” It can only be described as vicious. You have shown no remorse. I sentence you to life and you must serve a minimum period of 18 years.”
Keegan Downer’s paternal grandmother (pictured) spoke to the media after today’s sentencing. Elaine Downer is understood to be based out of the UK but flew back for the trial.
“I never met Keegan before but when I heard about what happened I had to be here. I have nightmares about it. I can’t explain how I feel. I know I’ve never met her but she was part of me. l will never see her grow up or hear her laugh or watch her get married. I feel terrible about being robbed of that. It’s a nightmare but I’m pleased justice has been served.”
Spokesman for the toddler’s former foster family Darren Mahon, who cared for the baby described the killer as “conniving and manipulative.
Speaking before sentencing the dad-of-five, aged 41, said his own children had needed counselling since her death.
“She has showed no emotion or remorse at all. Hearing the details has been a nightmare. None of us have been able to sleep. When we go to bed we think of her and when we wake in the morning we think of her. It’s just heartbreaking what has happened to her. I am just grateful to the police and the way that the paramedics and hospital cared for her even though they could not save her.”
Police now fear Downer, who has four other children, only wanted the child so she could pocket extra benefits. Birmingham Crown Court heard little Keegan suffered two broken legs and seven fractured ribs over a “significant period”.
Downer denied murder and causing or allowing the death of a child. After almost three hours of deliberations, a jury returned a verdict of guilty on both counts.
A trial heard Downer was paid a weekly fee by the local authority to care for the tot. Keegan moved in with Downer and her four other children in Weoley Castle, Birmingham, last January. She was last seen by a health visitor five months before her death – who reported that the youngster seemed fine.
On September 5 last year Downer, a full-time business student, made a 999 call from her family home. When paramedics arrived she told them:
“I don’t know when she stopped breathing because I was in the bath.”
Shockingly, the court heard Downer had delayed calling 999 and instead drove off to dump Keegan’s old blood-stained mattress, a babygrow and pyjamas near a skip. Jurors were told a post mortem examination revealed 127 separate injuries to Keegan’s body.