A man has been given a 22-year sentence after carrying out a prolonged campaign of physical and sexual abuse against a toddler.
Kane Fanelli, 27, of Clover Close, Luton, appeared before St Albans Crown Court for sentencing on Thursday, October 31 after being convicted following an earlier trial.
On Thursday, October 17 Fanelli was found guilty of two counts of grievous bodily harm (GBH) with intent and one count of sexual assault against the male victim, who was 18 months old at the time.
During the seven-week trial the court heard how Fanelli subjected the victim, who lived in Watford, to a protracted campaign of abuse between May 2018 and June 2018.
The child, who has now been safeguarded, suffered a catalogue of traumatic injuries including bruising, swelling, bite marks, burns, cuts and abrasions.
On Sunday, July 1, 2018, the victim was presented at hospital with an injury and after doctors conducted a thorough physical examination, they discovered a large number of other painful injuries they deemed non-accidental and the police were called.
One of the paediatricians who assessed the victim said that ‘in over 25 years of paediatric practice he had rarely seen such extensive injuries in a child’ and that it was ‘fortuitous he was alive’.
The victim was given medical treatment to relieve his pain before being immediately placed under police protection.
Fanelli was arrested on Thursday, July 4, 2018 before later being charged in connection with the investigation.
Detective Constable Caroline Bright, from Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Joint Child Protection Investigation Team, led the investigation.
She said: “This was the most challenging and gruelling case I have ever investigated and first and foremost, my thoughts are with the little boy.
“He is now finally safe from his abuser and I can only hope the inexplicable cruelty he suffered does not have a far-reaching impact on the rest of his life.
“During his campaign of torture, Fanelli showed himself to be a significant and dangerous risk to children. He consistently displayed a complete disregard for the wellbeing of an innocent toddler.
“I am satisfied with Fanelli’s custodial sentence and am glad he will no longer pose a danger to children now he is behind bars.”
After serving an 18-year custodial sentence, Fanelli will serve an additional four years on extended licence. However he will be assessed prior to release from prison to ensure he no longer poses a danger to the community.
His name will appear on the Sex Offenders’ Register indefinitely and he will also be subject to a lifetime Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) with a number of terms which prevent him having contact with any child under the age of 16.
Fanelli is prohibited from contacting the victim, who is now three years old and thriving in foster care.
An NSPCC spokesperson for the East of England said: “Fanelli subjected an innocent toddler to weeks of despicable abuse, so shocking that police said it amounted to torture.
“Such vile abuse at the hands of adults can have a life-changing impact on young lives so it is absolutely vital that the toddler receives ongoing, specialist support.
“It’s heartening to hear the youngster is doing well and this must serve as a reminder that we all have a responsibility to look out for children and report any concerns we may have about their welfare without delay.”
The NSPCC Helpline is available for adults to contact confidentially on 0808 800 5000 or via firstname.lastname@example.org.