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Mother of tragic toddler denies cruelty charge

By PA News

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A mother whose 18-month-old son was allegedly killed by her boyfriend has pleaded not guilty to child cruelty.

Tamika Beaton, 24, allegedly “wilfully ill-treated or neglected” baby Andrew Cawker in a manner likely to cause unnecessary suffering or injury between January 7 and July 9 2019.

It is claimed that during that time she failed to prevent the toddler being injured while he was in the care of Scott Coombe.

According to the charge, she also failed to notify social services to injuries the baby received while in Coombe’s care.

Baby Andrew allegedly suffered a head injury on July 9 2019 and died in hospital on July 22 2019.

The judge set a trial date at the Old Bailey for next year (Jonathan Brady/PA)
The judge set a trial date at the Old Bailey for next year (Jonathan Brady/PA)

Coombe, 23, is charged with his murder, manslaughter and child cruelty in the months before his death.

On Monday, Coombe appeared at the Old Bailey on Monday by video link from Thameside prison with Beaton in the dock.

During the hearing, Beaton, from Peckham, south east London, pleaded not guilty to a single charge of child cruelty.

Coombe, of Petts Wood, in Kent, was not asked to enter pleas to the charges against him.

Judge Anthony Leonard QC set a five-week trial before a High Court judge sitting at the Old Bailey from April 26 next year.

A further hearing in the case will take place on September 20.

Coombe was remanded into custody and Beaton was granted continued bail.

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