Stepfather guilty of murdering toddler in Broadmayne

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A STEPFATHER has been found guilty of murdering his two-year-old stepson in Broadmayne near Dorchester.

On Thursday, May 18th after a trial at Winchester Crown Court, Joseph Eke –  22 and of St Lawrence Road in Weymouth – was found guilty of murdering Harry House. He was also found guilty of a separate count of grievous bodily harm. Eke was found not guilty of a further count of causing grievous bodily harm and one count of causing actual bodily harm. He is due to be sentenced at the same court on Monday, June 5th.

The court was told that Harry died as a result of serious injuries to his head and abdomen and that these were caused by the actions of Eke.

Eke was in a relationship with Harry’s mother and the pair were living on Main Street in Broadmayne at the time, the court heard. The couple are no longer together.

At 9.44am on Thursday, May 26th, a 999 call was made by Harry’s mother to report that he was unresponsive.

Paramedics attended the address on Main Street and he was taken to Dorset County Hospital where he was sadly pronounced dead.

A forensic post-mortem concluded the cause of death was a blunt force injury to the abdomen. It also indicated that Harry suffered at least three traumatic events in the week before his death, which resulted in fractured ribs.

Detective Chief Inspector Sarah Derbyshire, of Dorset Police’s Major Crime Investigation Team, said: “Joseph Eke subjected two-and-a-half-year-old Harry House to a violent episode that resulted in his death.

“This was an extremely difficult and challenging investigation and I would like to praise all professionals that were involved.  Above all, my heartfelt thoughts are with Harry’s family. It has been an absolutely terrible time for them and still continues to be so, with the loss of little Harry from their lives.

“I can only hope that today’s verdict is of some comfort to them. They continue to be supported by our specially-trained officers.”

Bridport & Beaminster Reporter| Lottie is currently studying for an NCTJ Diploma in Journalism through a distance learning course and joined the paper in April 2014 on a freelance basis, becoming a staff reporter in January 2015. She is now the reporter for the View From Bridport and View From Beaminster papers.

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