Family’s fury as mum cleared of child’s death

Alistair Bowen
Alistair Bowen

The Luton family of a 23-month-old who died after sustaining serious injuries had to be escorted from a court after the child’s mother was cleared of her death.

Kirsty Lee was found not guilty of causing or allowing the death of Cara Lee-Fanus.

The 26-year-old was also cleared of causing or allowing serious physical harm to her baby, who had been subjected to a violent head injury and had 21 other injuries on her body.

Between loud sobs Miss Lee thanked the jury for finding her not guilty, as relatives of the baby’s father Sean Fanus shouted abuse from the public gallery.

At least 20 members of the father’s family were forced to leave the court by security staff and a police officer.

Following the head injury on May 28 2014, Cara was rushed to St Peter’s Hospital in Chertsey, Surrey.

Heathrow airport worker Ms Lee insisted Cara had been injured by a shower head falling on her some hours before the child was taken to hospital.

After being taken to hospital in a “floppy and unresponsive” state, doctors also discovered three burn marks on the infant, inflicted after the nozzle of a hair-dryer was pressed against her skin.

During the trial Ms Lee, of Grove Close, Windsor, was accused by the prosecution of choosing to cover up for her boyfriend, Alistair Wayne Bowen from Luton, instead of protecting her young child.

Mr Bowen killed himself last year and an inquest revealed he left a note admitting to burning the child.

Pathologist Professor Rupert Risdon said that the child had been subjected to a severe to and fro action, then a violent movement before her head had hit an object.

Miss Lee denied causing the injury and claimed she had been at work when the violence took place at the family home in Windsor.

When she returned home from work she described seeing Cara asleep in her bed and had not been concerned until later when she would not wake up.

Cara died the following day in St George’s Hospital in Tooting having been declared “brain dead” and 26-year-old Ms Lee and her partner, Alistair Bowen, were jointly arrested on suspicion of causing or allowing her death.