David Dearlove jailed

15 Nov 2005
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David Dearlove, 71, murdered 19-month-old Paul Booth at their home in Stockton-on-Tees in October 1968.

Home Office pathologist Mark Egan demonstrated how the toddler could have died by swinging a doll by the ankles and banging its head on the surface of the witness box, causing some of the 10 men and two women of the jury to weep.

In a statement after the verdict, the Booth family said Dearlove's actions "not only physically killed Paul but also destroyed his memory".

"He was buried into an unmarked grave the location of which remains unknown and he was not spoken about for many years."


Paul's brother Peter, who was three years old when he witnessed the attack after he crept downstairs for a drink, went to police in 2015.

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Hope the ba%tard gets his just desserts in prison but has to live a long time with the consequences.
afaik he was convicted solely on the evidence or recollection of a 3 year old ???
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As I understand it from the links, when he was aged 3, he had difficulty getting his voice heard, and was subsequently under family pressure to bury the past and say nothing.

In adult life, he saw a photo on facebook of his baby brother on the knee of the man who murdered him, and this brought back the memories and a determination to seek justice.

Who can say what happened inside the head of a young child living with his brother's murderer?

Luckily, there were good records from the inquest, including photos of the injuries, and of earlier injuries prior to the fatal attack.

Now that the trial is over, there are quite a few reports online.
he also stated that he reported this incident to the police in the past ?

afaik 3 (?) police forces state they can find no records of any such complaint ??????
"Teesside Crown Court heard from then childcare officer Sheila Plummer, who visited the family home after being alerted by staff at the boy's nursery.

The court heard she was accompanied by an NSPCC inspector and that photographs of the bruises were taken.

She said Paul's mother, Carol Booth, who is now dead, said bruises on his back were caused by him falling down the stairs and another on his temple due to a moped or motorbike falling on him.

She said at the time she accepted the answers given and did not speak to Mr Dearlove."



Earlier the jury was read a statement from a neighbour, Dorothy Hopton, now deceased, who saw Mr Dearlove trying to give Paul the kiss of life.

She remembered Mrs Booth knocking on her door in tears and telling her "the baby had stopped breathing".

She went into their home and saw Paul unconscious on the settee, lying in vest and pyjamas.

Her statement said: "David Dearlove was trying to give him the kiss of life. He was lifting his eyelids and putting his finger in his mouth.

"David Dearlove said he had fallen out of bed, the woman [Mrs] Booth did not answer as she was still sobbing.

"I saw a red mark on the child's right hand. David Dearlove said it had been burnt on the hot water pipes upstairs."

The court also heard from the then family babysitter, Barbara Flemming, who recalled seeing Mrs Booth concealing a black eye with make-up.


"He went to his local police station in Sussex, who advised him to contact the original investigating force, Cleveland Police.

The court had heard Mr Booth had previously reported the matter to officers at Billingham police station on Teesside in the 1990s and at Burgess Hill station in Sussex 10 years later. "
It was reported on the radio that he had violently abused the children in the past ?? afaik they were his step children ?
"The report, however, contained photographs that showed injuries to Paul's feet and ankles, which were consistent with being held and swung.

The photos also showed evidence of substantial older bruising to his body sustained on several occasions and that both his front teeth had been knocked out.

But one of the most compelling pieces of evidence was the shape of the child's fracture - a Z-formation that crossed two plates in his skull and which was not consistent with him hitting a hard floor.

Had that been the case, experts agreed it would have been a straight line, Mr Brennan said.

It was in light of this evidence that prosecutor Richard Wright QC asked the court to consider how one so young could sustain such a "substantial history of injuries".

"[They were] occasioned to Paul in a series of incidents prior to his death, often at a time when only David Dearlove was present and in charge of the child," he told jurors."

So glad there is no statute of limitation on murder. Justice however late has been served.
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