Woman jailed after death of 23-month-old Harry Aspley

Photo: Scales of JusticeA woman has been jailed after pleading guilty to the manslaughter of a 23-month-old boy who was in her care.

Wendy Hardy, 46, appeared at Birmingham Crown Court yesterday (Monday 25 January) where she was sentenced to five years and four months in prison after admitting the offence at an earlier hearing.

In addition, she was also sentenced for fraud by failing to disclose information, between 15 November 2012 and 2 September 2013, after pleading guilty at a previous hearing.

The charge relates to claiming payment of more than £27,000 for fostering two children who were not in her care at the time.

She was handed an additional 14 month custodial sentence for this crime, to run consecutively.

The sentencing follows the death of Harry Aspley who was admitted to hospital on 26 March 2013 after becoming unwell at his home in Stoney Stanton, Leicestershire.

He died in hospital six days later, on 1 April 2013, after doctors identified he had sustained a non-accidental head injury that was consistent with being shaken.

A police investigation was launched following his death and Wendy Hardy, who was his foster mother at the time, was charged with manslaughter.

Detective Superintendent Neil Castle, who led the investigation, said:

“This was a difficult and lengthy inquiry which followed the tragic death of a young child who had been entrusted in the care of foster parents.

“Our enquiries not only centred on the death of Harry but also looked into money that was claimed for fostering children who were no longer in her care – totalling £27,460.

“On the morning of 26 March 2013, Harry was being looked after solely by Wendy Hardy when he sustained the injuries that led to his death and while the full events of what happened that day have not been disclosed by Wendy, I hope that her guilty plea and subsequent sentencing will bring some closure for Harry’s wider family network and all those involved in the case.”

Wendy Hardy, of Greedon Rise, Sileby, was also charged with child cruelty, namely neglect of Harry Aspley, between 28 December 2012 and 26 March 2013. This charge is to lie on file.

David Hardy, 36, of Hinckley Road, Stoney Stanton, had also pleaded guilty to an offence under the Proceeds of Crime Act, relating to the fraudulent claim for foster care.

He was given a 21 month sentence, suspended for two years, during the same hearing at Birmingham Crown Court yesterday.

A charge of child cruelty, namely neglect between 28 December 2012 and 26 March 2013, is to lie on file.

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