South East Wales

Man accused of Tonypandy toddler Finley Thomas's murder

Finley Thomas Image copyright Wales News Service

A 17-month-old from Rhondda Cynon Taff was murdered by his mother's lover - and she lied to cover it up, a court has heard.

Finley Thomas suffered "catastrophic" head injuries after allegedly being attacked by Sean Buckley, 28, at his Tonypandy home.

Mother Chloe Thomas, 25, claimed he had simply fallen down the stairs.

Mr Buckley denied murder at Cardiff Crown Court, while they both denied cruelty to a young person under 16.

The jury was told the boy's mother made a 999 call to paramedics at about 14:15 BST on 23 September 2014.

She told how her son had fallen from the top of the stairs while she was out and "wasn't moving".

The court heard this was backed up by Mr Buckley, who said he had been upstairs when he heard the toddler fall, and mentioned he had fallen down the stairs in the past.

Finley was taken to University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff, but died the next day.

Image copyright Wales News Service
Image caption Chloe Thomas denies cruelty to a young person under 16

Doctors who examined his body found previous multiple bleeds and injuries to his head and spine which were consistent with "non-accidental injury", including bleeding to his eyes 72 hours before he died, the court heard.

Prosecuting, Roger Thomas told how the couple spun "wicked and deliberate" lies to hide the physical abuse the toddler had suffered.

Mr Thomas said: "This is a trial concerned with the abuse and the death of a child.

"The catastrophic injuries which resulted in his death were not from a simple fall but rather from a deliberate and abusive act by Buckley that had a devastating effect.

"Evidence shows Finley was subject to repeated assaults before he died."

The trial, expected to last five weeks, continues.