This heartbreaking video shows a three-year-old autistic boy happily drinking a ‘Babyccino’ in a car with his birth mother before he was savagely killed by his stepmother.
Harvey Borrington died after being slapped ‘multiple times’ around the head by Leila Borrington – having suffered two other attacks at her hands which left him with a broken arm and marks on his face.
After Borrington was jailed for 15 years for manslaughter yesterday, his biological mother, Katie Holroyd, released a family video showing some of the happy times she spent with her son before his tragic death.
The footage – shared with Nottinghamshire Live – shows a healthy and happy Harvey giggling in the back of the car as he sips from his milky drink.
Prior to Berrington’s sentencing yesterday, Miss Holroyd read out a personal impact statement paying tribute to her son as ‘the most loving little boy anyone could have wished for’.
‘Harvey’s life was cruelly ended when he was only three years old,’ she told Nottingham Crown Court.
‘To this day I cannot bear to think of him lying on the floor dying with her filming him and delaying getting medical help.’
Describing Harvey’s death as a recurring nightmare from which she will never be able to wake, Miss Holroyd added: ‘We will always treasure the short time we had to spend with him.
‘She (Leila Borrington) knew what she had done to him and she could have said so from the start.’
Instead, Miss Holroyd said, Borrington had ‘chosen to lie, no doubt to try and save herself’.
The court heard how Borrington lied about what had happened to Harvey, who had severe non-verbal autism, when paramedics arrived at her home near Kirkby-in-Ashfield, in August 2021.
Borrington also delayed calling emergency services after inflicting ‘unsurvivable’ injuries, including a skull fracture, on Harvey, instead sending a text message to the boy’s father reading: ‘Why does this happen to me?’
Passing sentence, Mr Justice Nicklin told Borrington: ‘You were 21 when the first offence was committed and 22 when you assaulted and killed Harvey.
The ‘history’ of the use of violence against Harvey was an aggravating factor in the offence of manslaughter, the judge said, adding that the cause of the youngster’s death ‘must have been a sustained violent assault’.
The judge also said text messages sent by Borrington, and her immediate response after Harvey was fatally assaulted, had shown a ‘shocking lack of care and concern’.
He told Borrington: ‘During the trial we saw video footage of Harvey playing with his toys and placing items into the dishwasher.
‘Within less than 30 minutes, further video footage showed Harvey unconscious on the living room floor.
‘Precisely what happened to Harvey only you know.’
Borrington was found guilty last month of manslaughter and separate charges of assault and causing grievous bodily harm to Harvey, relating to incidents in April and July 2021.
Borrington, 23, who was acquitted of murder, claimed Harvey ‘fell backwards’ off a one-seater leather sofa at home, causing the fatal brain bleed.
Harvey, who spent most weekends with Borrington, died in hospital on August 9, two days after paramedics were called and found him ‘deeply unconscious’, ‘unresponsive’ and with ‘abnormal body posture’.
Borrington’s trial was shown footage, filmed by her moments after Harvey’s collapse as he was lying on his side.
In the video – shot on Borrington’s phone and sent to Harvey’s father – she was recorded taking the boy’s left arm, lifting it up and letting it drop to the floor, before continuing to film as he lay unmoving on a living-room rug.
Prosecutor Jonas Hankin KC said the defendant’s behaviour was very unusual in the circumstances, did not appear to be an attempt to rouse him and suggested an absence of compassion.
‘The lifting and dropping of his arm in that way, similarly, appears to show indifference to the obvious severity of his condition,’ Mr Hankin told jurors.
Mr Hankin also claimed that Borrington targeted Harvey, who communicated through hand gestures and a handful of words, because he was unable to articulate when he was in pain.