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Home Breaking A mother and father have been found guilty of Christmas Day killing of their baby son in a “savage and brutal” crime.

A mother and father have been found guilty of Christmas Day killing of their baby son in a “savage and brutal” crime.

Cannabis-smoking Stephen Boden, 30, and Shannon Marsden, 22, burned and abused their newborn “in repeated acts of severe violence” in the days leading up to his death in December 2020, while the COVID was in lockdown.

After a five-week trial at Derby Crown Court, both were convicted on Friday.

Stephen Boden and Shannon Marsden had both disputed the allegations.
Finley Boden’s bones were “crushed and twisted” by his parents’ abuse campaign, according to detectives probing his death.

A mother and father have been found guilty of Christmas Day killing of their baby son in a
A Mother And Father Have Been Found Guilty Of Christmas Day Killing Of Their Baby Son In A “savage And Brutal” Crime.

The trial heard how the infant had endured a slew of “appalling” injuries, including 71 bruises and 57 fractures, many of which were inflicted in the moments before his final collapse.

Finley’s pelvis had been shattered in two places, presumably as a result of “kicking or stamping,” according to the court, and he also had a broken shoulder, broken arm, broken shinbone, and a thigh bone broken in four places.

The baby also had two burns on his left hand, one from a “hot, flat surface” and the other most likely from a “cigarette lighter flame.”

He also suffered pneumonia, endocarditis (inflammation of the heart lining), and sepsis.

Finley died of a heart attack at the family’s “cluttered” and filthy terraced house in Holland Road, Old Whittington, Chesterfield, Derbyshire, where faeces were later discovered in the bedroom.


Clutter in Finley Boden’s kitchen Paramedics were called to the residence at 2.33am on Christmas Day 2020, and Finley was rushed to hospital, but he was pronounced dead at 3.45am.

Boden was overheard telling Marsden in the hospital just hours after his baby died that he wanted to sell his son’s pushchair on eBay.

Boden later claimed to police that he just stated this to “lighten the mood.”

“His dad’s battered him to death,” Marsden remarked when viewing Finley’s body in a hospital chapel of rest on 11 January 2021. I didn’t shield him.”


Murder occurred barely weeks after the parents regained custody of their child.

The infant died during the winter 2020 COVID lockdown, just 39 days after being returned to his parent’s care.

Due to child welfare concerns, he was taken from his parents shortly after his birth in February 2020.

A court ruling then ordered Finley’s return to the couple over an eight-week period, despite Derbyshire social workers’ request for a six-month transition.

The circumstances surrounding Finley’s death are currently being investigated by a child safeguarding review.

Boden, of Romford Way in Barrow Hill, Chesterfield, and Marsden, of no fixed address, both denied murder, two counts of child maltreatment, and two counts of causing or permitting a child’s death.

The men will be jailed at a later date after their verdicts were read aloud in court.

Mrs Justice Tipples, the trial judge, held back emotions as she complimented the jury for its “extremely impressive” performance during the proceedings.

“I would like to thank you for your dedication, commitment, and patience in carrying out this extremely important public service,” she stated.

“Given the length of this case and the awful nature of the facts you have had to consider, I discharge you from jury service for life.”

‘They should have protected him as his parents.’

The violence these two individuals inflicted and their wilful neglect in covering up his injuries is incomprehensible, as his parents they should have been the ones who protected him from harm, not be the cause of it,” said Andrew Baxter, Crown Prosecution Service deputy chief crown prosecutor.

“These defendants sought to reclaim custody of their child and then treated him in this heinous manner.”

“It was clear that Finley’s injuries were obvious and that he needed help, yet his own parents chose to ignore his needs in order to protect themselves.”

Detective Inspector Steve Shaw, the lead investigator, stated that detectives were unprepared for the extent of abuse they discovered.

“The majority of Finley’s bones were fractured in some way,” he explained, adding that “as the investigation progressed, evidence from some of the experts around the levels of force that had to be used – Finley’s bones had to be crushed and twisted with quite some force – eliminated any accidental cause of these injuries.”

“Stephen and Shannon made the decision to try to get Finley back,” he continued. When they brought him back, they not only neglected him, but also harmed him.”

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