Reduced sentence refused for woman guilty of child cruelty

A WOMAN who humiliated and beat a learning disabled boy with a dog lead and a horse-whip has failed to persuade judges that her jail sentence was too harsh. Martine George-Smith, 45, was said to routinely beat the boy, as well as swearing at him, callin

A WOMAN who humiliated and beat a learning disabled boy with a dog lead and a horse-whip has failed to persuade judges that her jail sentence was too harsh.

Martine George-Smith, 45, was said to "routinely beat" the boy, as well as swearing at him, calling him names and "poking fun at his learning disabilities."

George-Smith, whose address was given as Penny Road, Buckden, was jailed for two years and nine months on June 16 this year at Peterborough Crown Court after pleading guilty to four counts of cruelty to a child.

On Monday at the Criminal Appeal Court in London Jenni Dempster, for George-Smith, asked Lord Justice Dyson, Mr Justice Davis and Judge Warwick McKinnon, to reduce her sentence, citing her fragile mental state as mitigation.

The court heard that, as well as carrying out the beatings, George-Smith humiliated the boy by asking him to carry out domestic tasks that he was unable to do because of his disability. Then she "shouted at and hit him when he failed."

Miss Dempster told the court that George-Smith had had psychiatric treatment for stress and was on medication at the time of the offences.

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But, refusing her appeal, Lord Justice Dyson said: "Whilst this sentence was severe, this court is unable to say that it was manifestly excessive."

The judge added that the boy, now a teenager, had "improved remarkably" since the case.

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