Stephen Boden and Shannon Marsden

DERBYSHIRE: The parents of a 10-month-old baby have been found guilty of murdering their son on Christmas Day while in lockdown, just days after he was returned to their care by social services. Stephen Boden, 30, and Shannon Marsden, 22, murdered Finley Boden in 2020 after he suffered 71 bruises to his body and 57 fractures.

Social workers had raised concerns even before Finley was born about her parents’ substance abuse and the state of her home. She was removed from her care immediately after her birth in February 2020, only to be returned in November of that year. The baby was killed just a few weeks later.

Finley’s pelvis was broken in two places, from sustained “kicks or stomps”. She had burns on her hand, one “from a hot flat surface” and the other “from a cigarette lighter flame.” The little boy collapsed after cardiac arrest. Paramedics were called at 2:33 a.m. on Christmas Day and he was pronounced dead at the hospital at 3:45 a.m.


Stephen Boden and Shannon Marsden Ages

The age of Stephen Boden and Shannon Marsden is 30 and 2 years respectively.

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Stephen Boden and Shannon Marsden accused of killing own son

The parents reportedly did not want to call emergency service providers for an hour because Stephen wanted to smoke cannabis and hide the drugs from him. Photos of Finley and her distraught parents were released by authorities on Friday, April 14, highlighting the extreme conditions in which he spent her final days, with feces in the bedroom.

The father was heard telling Shannon at the hospital that he was going to sell Finley’s stroller on eBay, following the boy’s death. He later told police that he was trying to “lighten the mood.” He also sent a text message two days before the boy’s death that read: “I want to bounce him (Finley) off the walls,” according to the Daily Mail.


Prosecutor Mary Prior KC said the inside of Finley’s mouth was “torn”. “This is caused by forcing a pacifier or bottle into the mouth,” she said. The baby had a “spiral” fracture in one thigh, while a fracture to the shin bone was “consistent with being held by the ankle and grasped and twisted.” Later, Stephen tried to blame the family dog for the boy’s serious injuries.

He told a relative that the dog may have “jumped on” Finley, causing multiple broken ribs, while allegedly blaming the marks on Finley’s mouth on his son hitting himself “with a rattle.” . He confessed to another family member that an ambulance was not called for an hour because he wanted to smoke a cannabis joint and hide the stash of drugs.

Stephen Boden, of Romford Way in Barrow Hill, Chesterfield, and Shannon, with no fixed address, denied committing the murder. They are charged with two counts of child cruelty and two counts of causing or permitting the death of a child. Prosecutor Mary Prior KC described how Finley suffered a catalog of “appalling” injuries, including 71 bruises to the body and 57 fractures, many inflicted in the brief period before his fatal collapse.


During the trial, Prior said: “Her parents, we say, worked together to hide the injuries from the social worker, the health visitor and the police for their own selfish reasons. They didn’t want Finley removed by social services if the gruesome shape was discovered in that they were treating Finley.” Finley was seen alive while with his parents in Chesterfield on Christmas Eve, before he was killed on Christmas Day, just 39 days after he was returned to his care.Read More……

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