Mother who hid son's death from family and social services to be freed from prison as her murder conviction is quashed
- Kimberley Hainey, 38, was jailed for life after trial in December 2011
- But today she can walk free after a court quashed her conviction
- Body of Ms Hainey's son Declan was discovered in March 2010
- It was eight months after the toddler had last been seen alive
By LEON WATSON
Kimberley Hainey, 38, had been told yesterday that the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh was ready to overturn her conviction for murder.
But that left judges with a problem - because Hainey had also been given a seven year prison sentence for trying to cover up the murder, a charge which included the words 'being conscious of your guilt.'
Kimberley Hainey (right), 38, has had her conviction for murdering her toddler son Declan (left) quashed by appeal judges
Authorities said the Declan's body was mummified when it was discovered in March 2010 when he would have been 23 months old
The legal conundrum was solved today when defence QC Edward Targowski asked permission to lodge a late appeal against the charge of attempting to defeat the ends of justice.
Advocate depute Andrew Miller replied: 'The Crown does not oppose receipt of an additional ground of appeal in relation to charge two and does not seek to resist the ground of appeal.'
Judge Lord Clarke said this was 'a proper exercise of your discretion.'
He then told Hainey that in the circumstances the cover-up charge was also quashed, as well as the murder charge.
A trial at the High Court in Glasgow at the end of 2011 heard how the mummified body of little Declan Hainey was found in a squalid flat in Bruce Road Paisley.
The tragic tot should have been celebrating his fifth birthday yesterday (Wed) as his mum returned to court.
Squalor in the flat in Paisley, Renfrewshire, where Kimberley Hainey lived with her son, Declan
Hainey's trial heard the toddler was left on his own in wet and dirty nappies at his home while his mother went out drinking with friends or stayed at her boyfriend's house for days at a time
The six-week trial at the end of 2011 heard how Hainey had kept family, neighbours and social services at arms' length, not allowing them to get close to the little boy
By the time doctors were able to examine the tot, it was impossible to tell how he died.
Hainey was found guilty, by majority, of wilfully ill-treating and neglecting him, failing to provide him with food and drink and failing to seek medical attention.
The charge alleged that Hainey had 'by other means to the prosecutor unknown, caused unnecessary suffering and injury to the health of said Declan Hainey, whereby he died and you did murder him.'
'The court has come to the conclusion that the conviction of the Appellant (Hainey) of the murder of her baby son, Declan... must be quashed.'
Hainey came to the Court of Criminal Appeal in January seeking to overturn the conviction which earned her a minimum sentence of 15 years.
Defence QC Edward Targowski QC argued that crucial evidence heard by the jury was flawed.
The lawyer questioned the claims expert witnesses called by the Crown who said that tell-tale marks on his bones were signs of malnutrition.
The murder charge alleged that heroin addict Hainey had abandoning her son for long periods of time without food or drink while she partied, drank and took drugs.
The jury heard how Hainey partied and took drugs while her son lay dead in his cot. She even sold his clothes and toys to buy heroin.
They rejected Hainey's claim that she had woken one morning to find Declan dead in his cot and had not reported the tragedy because, as Mr Targowski explained: 'She simply went into a downward spiral.'
By the time tragic Declan Hainey's decomposing body was found in March 2010 - just before his second birthday - he had not been seen alive for eight months.
A six week trial also heard how Hainey had kept family, neighbours and social services at arm's length - not allowing them to get close to the little boy.
The jury were shown photos of rubbish, dirty clothes and nappies littering the squalid flat.
Today, Hainey remained motionless as Lord Clarke, sitting with Lords Mackay of Drumadoon and Drummond Young quashed her convictions.
As she was led back to the cells under the court room she began to sob. Hainey is expected to be released later today.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2310920/Mother-hid-sons-death-family-social-services-freed-prison-murder-conviction-quashed.html#ixzz2QoZvb4zE
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