Express & Star

'Monster' mother jailed for life murder of Keanu Williams, aged two

A Birmingham mother convicted of beating to death her two-year-old son after subjecting him to months of horrific cruelty was this afternoon jailed for life, with a minimum of 18 years.


Rebecca Shuttleworth was described as a 'monster' by a senior detective after being convicted of murdering Keanu Williams following a six-month trial.

Shuttleworth was also found guilty of four counts of child cruelty at Birmingham Crown Court. Her former partner Luke Southerton was convicted on one count of cruelty.

The 25-year-old, who had denied the charges, inflicted what detectives described as 'horrifying' injuries on Keanu after apparently convincing her support worker that she had turned her life around. A serious case review into Keanu's death, which will examine social services contact with his mother, will be published in the near future.

Shuttleworth is known to have explained away numerous injuries to her son by saying he had been fighting with siblings, or was clumsy.

Keanu, whose body showed 37 external marks of injury, was pronounced dead in January 2011, after paramedics were called to his mother's partner's flat in Old Moat Way, Ward End, Birmingham. Shuttleworth, formerly of Hay Mills, Birmingham, was on bail during her trial but was remanded in custody until today's sentencing.

In a statement after Shuttleworth was unanimously convicted, the chairwoman of Birmingham's Safeguarding Children Board acknowledged that chances to take action had been missed.

Jane Held said: "It is already clear that there are lessons to learn from how various agencies worked together to support Keanu and his family."

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