A mother and step-father have today been found guilty of their roles in the death of Doncaster toddler Keigan O’Brien

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Sarah O’Brien, 33, and Martin Currie, 36 have both been on trial at Sheffield Crown Court since Tuesday 6 October charged with the murder of two year-old Keigan.
Today (Tuesday 10 November) after three days of deliberation, the jury found Currie guilty of murder and child neglect and O’Brien guilty of allowing or permitting the death of a child and child neglect.
Over the past five weeks the court has heard how, at 11.00 on Wednesday 8 January, emergency services were called to Keigan’s home in Adwick –Le-Street, Doncaster after Keigan was found unconscious and not breathing.
Police officers arrived on scene and commenced CPR until the ambulance arrived a few minutes later. Paramedics resuscitated Keigan and transported him to hospital where, on Thursday 9 January he sadly passed away . A post-mortem examination showed that Keigan died from a severe head injury.
Providing evidence in the trial, a medical report showed that Keigan suffered a bleed on the brain. Keigan was also found to have a fractured arm sustained around the same time as the catastrophic head injury, which caused his death.
The report also described how Keigan had a fractured spine, suspected to have been caused between 6-16 weeks before his death, fractured ribs, which were fractured 2-4 weeks before his death and previous bleeding on the brain, caused ‘weeks to months’ before his death.
Medical evidence also described the force sustained to Keigan’s head would have been consistent with the force associated with examples of crush injuries to the skull, falls from height and in road traffic collisions.
Detective Chief Inspector James Axe said: “I firstly would like to offer my condolences to Keigan’s family and those that loved him, the loss of a child is difficult, but the death of Keigan has been distressing for everyone”.
“This trial has been incredibly hard for Keigan’s family and I would like to thank them for their support in assisting our investigation”.
“During the trial, O’Brien and Currie have showed no remorse for the death of Keigan.
“O’Brien has denied having any knowledge of how Keigan sustained his injuries, with the exception of an incident where Keigan suffered a head injury and black eyes- O’Brien stated he fell down the stairs.
“Currie stated he didn’t know how Keigan came about his injuries but told the court how he heard O’Brien assaulting Keigan previously, but had not witnessed it.
“Currie admitted to finding Keigan on the morning of 8 January at around 9am, he thought Keigan was dead.
“Keigan did not receive medical assistance for nearly two hours when O’Brien finally called Yorkshire Ambulance Service at 10:57am.
“This gave the pair sufficient time to formulate a series of lies and devise a story which was an attempt to cover the true circumstances that had unfolded.
“The only two people responsible for Keigan’s death are O’Brien and Currie, two people who should have loved and cared for him. In fact they should have been the very people, who protected little Keigan above all else.
“While I am pleased both Currie and O’Brien have both been convicted for their parts in Keigan’s death, it will not bring him back. I hope his family can take closure from the fact that the trial has now concluded and inevitably both O’Brien and Currie will both face significant custodial sentences.”
Keigan’s biological father pays tribute to his son, he said: “Keigan was such a special little boy. He was lovable, playful, energetic and full of fun.
“He will always have a place in our hearts and will be missed terribly. He will never be forgotten and we are truly heart broken.”
O’Brien and Currie will appear before Sheffield Crown Court later this week to be sentenced.