AN EVIL woman trapped a two-year-old toddler in a homemade cage and a four-year-old boy escaped and was found wandering the streets in pyjamas alone.
Claire Boyle, 34, trapped the toddler in a modified cot and claimed it was for the boy’s protection, the court heard.
Claire Boyle was convicted of of neglecting the two-year-old and the four-year-old children, and Timothy Johnstone was convicted of neglecting the four-year-oldCredit: Mirrorpix
This is what the modified cot looked likeCredit: Crown Office
The second boy, who managed to escape, was found with so many bruises that a doctor thought he might have a blood disorder, the Daily Record reports.
A court heard how Boyle had previously tried to sell a child for £1 million and had shaken him, shouted at him and abandoned him.
The horrors only came to light after the four-year-old escaped from the flat by squeezing through a six-inch gap in the window and dropping four feet to the ground.
The little boy was wearing pyjamas when he was found wandering the streets alone in the rain.
In the hospital, medics found so many bruises on the boy that they thought he may have blood cancer or a blood clotting disorder.
Dr Christine Findlay, a consultant paediatrician with NHS Ayrshire and Arran, said there were “fingertip bruises” on the four-year-old boy suggesting “a child having been grabbed”.
The paediatrician said the boy had so many bruises doctors believed he may have an “underlying medical condition which predisposed the child to bleeding – a blood disorder, like hemophilia or leukemia”.
This is a child who has lots of signs of injuries.
Dr Christine Findlay
Boyle claimed the older boy self-harmed and the cot was altered to protect the younger boy.
She is now facing jail follwoing her third conviction for child neglect.
Boyle and her partner Timothy Johnstone, 57, were both convicted of neglect yesterday after a trial at Kilmarnock Sheriff Court.
The court heard a passer-by found the older boy alone in a street, Ayrshire, in October 2018.
They raised the alarm, which lead to an investigaton where officers then found the younger boy trapped in the cage in a bedroom.
Giving evidence, Police Constable Adam Peppard said: “[The toddler’s] nappy was full and hanging low and he was upset.
“[He] was within the makeshift cot – the bottom of the cot had been removed and strapped to the top to stop the child getting out. It was turned into a very risky cage.
“She [Boyle] started blaming it on the other child. She said it was ‘all his fault’. She stated he was able to open the window and let himself out.
“She said her solution was to put things in front of the window and to put the base over the top of the cot.”
The court also heard the boy appeared extremely hungry when he was found.
Dr Findlay said the “number, size and pattern” of bruises on the boy left her “worried”.
She said it was unlikely some of them were caused by self-harm and that there were more than you could expect from “normal childhood play”.
The boy had “crusted” blood around his ears, indiciating “a blow to the ear”, she said.
She added: “This is a child who has lots of signs of injuries.”
A charge the couple assaulted the older boy was withdrawn by prosecutor Ed Sheeran during the trial and they were cleared of claims they had also neglected a baby.
Sheriff Higgins convicted Boyle of neglecting the two-year-old and the four-year-old children, and Johnstone of neglecting the four-year-old.
The judge called for background reports to be prepared ahead of sentencing and adjourned the case.
In 2015, the court heard Boyle tried to sell a child for £1million.
She also shook the boy, shouted at him and abandoned him in a “damp and draughty” close in the town.
When about her previous convictions outside court, Boyle insisted she had done nothing wrong, and said: “Shut your mouth. Get tae f***.”