An evil couple were today convicted of neglect after a four-year-old boy who fled a house of horrors was so bruised medics thought he had leukaemia – leading to police finding a second toddler trapped in a makeshift cage.
Claire Boyle, 34, and Timothy Johnston, 57, from East Ayrshire, kept the two-year-old boy in a cot that had wooden slats at the top to prevent him from escaping, where he was found by officers distressed and with a full nappy.
The four-year-old broke free from the flat through a six-inch crack in the window and dropped four feet to the ground.
Medics initially believed the older boy suffered from a blood clotting disorder or blood cancer due to his numerous bruises after he was discovered on a street in his pyjamas and taken to hospital in October 2018.
During the trial it emerged Boyle had previously tried to sell a child for £1million to horrified passers-by on Ayr High Street.
Boyle and Johnstone, 57, were both found guilty of neglecting the two-year-old, while Boyle was convicted of the same offence in relation to the older child. Boyle faces jail after racking up her third conviction for child neglect.
Claire Boyle, 34, kept the two-year-old boy in a wooden cot (pictured above) altered with a fixture across the top and said it was for the toddler’s own safety
Boyle and her partner Timothy Johnstone (both pictured above, outside court), 57, were both found guilty of neglect on Wednesday at Kilmarnock Sheriff Court
Police launched an investigation following a report from the member of the public who found the four-year-old boy in the street.
The two-year-old was discovered in the adjusted cot by cops who then attended the property, reports the Daily Record.
Dr Christine Findlay, an NHS consultant paediatrician, told the court there were ‘fingertip bruises’ on the older child and dried blood around his ears.
She added that the boy had many bruises, leading doctors to question whether he had a blood disorder such as hemophilia or leukaemia.
It was also heard that the four-year-old seemed very hungry when he was found, eating two sandwiches alongside minced beef and potato, three more sandwiches and an apple during his time at the hospital.
Referring to the two-year-old, police constable Adam Peppard told the court that he was found with ‘upset’ with his ‘nappy full and hanging low’.
The top of the makeshift cage, pictured above. The two-year-old was discovered in the adjusted cot by police officers who attended the property
He said: ‘[The toddler] was within the makeshift cot – the bottom of the cot had been removed and strapped to the top to stop the child getting out.’
The officer then described how Boyle began blaming the older child, saying it was his fault because he could open the window and go outside, leading her to place objects in front of the window and put the frame over the top of the cot.
A court heard in 2015 that Boyle tried to sell a child for £1million, starting bidding at £2000, outside a bank on Ayr High Street.
It was mentioned that she shouted at the child and shook him before leaving him unattended in a pram.
Both Boyle and Johnstone were convicted by Sheriff Higgins of neglecting the older boy, and Boyle was also found guilty of neglecting the two-year-old.
Ed Sheeran, prosecuting, earlier withdrew a charge that the pair assaulted the four-year-old.