Nurse praised after child abuser jailed

A judge has rewarded a district nurse for helping to bring a child abuser to justice.

Judge Michael Challinor said it was thanks to Tracey Knowles that a man who regularly hit his eight-year-old stepson with a belt and cane has been locked behind bars.

Ms Knowles called police to the man’s Wolverhampton address in April after hearing a child’s screams and a man’s voice shouting from inside, the city’s crown court was told.

Judge Michael Challinor
Judge Michael Challinor

Mr Christopher O’Gorman, prosecuting, said: “She was so concerned that having made that call to police she sat in her car, she continued to listen to what was going on and could hear what she thought was a child being restrained. It sent a chill through her body.

“What, in fact, was going on was the defendant was assaulting his eight-year-old stepson.”

The child said he had tried to lock himself in the bathroom when his father became angry, but found there was no lock, the court heard. His stepfather caught up with him in a bedroom and beat him with the leather strap of his belt, the court was told.

A medical examination of the child found old scars and red marks on the boy’s hands, chest and limbs, the court heard.

Judge Challinor sentenced the man to two years in prison on Friday. He awarded Ms Knowles £250 from public funds.