A woman has been jailed for life with a minimum term of 18 years for murdering her toddler on the day his father asked the family court for more contact with him.
Carol Hodgson, 40, used a plastic bag to smother two-year-old Daniel Hodgson Green at her home in Guisborough, North Yorkshire, and then tried to kill herself, leaving notes for her family.
The boy’s heartbroken father, Stefan Green, read a victim impact statement at Teesside crown court before his former partner was sentenced, expressing how much he wanted to be part of his son’s life. Hodgson had cut off all contact when Daniel was a baby.
Green had attended the same court on 2 February this year expecting there to be a fact-finding family court hearing into the background of the dispute, only to be told his son had been killed.
In a moving statement, Green told the judge: “I wish I could say more on Daniel’s personality but we only knew him as a baby before Carol disappeared with him and cut off all contact.
“He was my entire world, the day he was born I truly knew what love was, I knew what it felt like to have a higher purpose, to do everything within my power to give him the best life, one full of love and happiness.”
The emergency services arrived at Hodgson’s home to find her mother performing CPR on her in her bedroom, with a paramedic then noticing Daniel lying lifeless next to his mother.
Hodgson had inflicted cuts to her own neck and asked to be left to die, but she was taken to hospital and survived.
Alistair MacDonald QC, prosecuting, said the notes she left for her mother and other family members indicated she had planned the murder. He said Green had been deprived of contact since early 2020 when Hodgson moved and did not provide him with her new address.
MacDonald said: “It is no coincidence that she carried out the killing on the very morning the family court was due to hold a fact-finding hearing.”
Hodgson was sentenced to life in jail with a minimum term of 18 years and four months after pleading guilty to murder.
Judge Paul Watson QC described the crime as “horrifying and truly awful”. “It was not an act of mercy … The fact that you genuinely intended to take your own life as well, which I accept to be true, offers no mitigation for the taking of Daniel’s.”
July 15, 2022 at 08:43PM Josh Halliday and agencies