Serious case review launched into death of Teddie Mitchell
- Credit: Cambs Police
The second episode of 24 Hours in Police Custody featuring the murder of 11-week-old Teddie Mitchell revealed the true horror of family life with Kane Mitchell and Lucci Smith.
Viewers heard their home in Love's Farm, St Neots, was a violent environment where neighbours frequently called police and social services to report screaming and shouting and banging consistent with items being thrown.
There will now be a Serious Case Review into the circumstances of Teddie's death to ascertain if any lessons can be learned from the tragedy. The findings will not be released for several months.
Towards the end of the hour-long episode on Tuesday night, viewers heard the heartbreaking words of one of Lucci Smith's children who described Mitchell as "ugly Kane".
Over the course of a gut-wrenching few minutes the child told how Mitchell punched him in the arm and dragged him across the floor into his bedroom.
He also described an incident where his mother shut the bedroom door so Mitchell could not hurt the children and how Mitchell smashed a mirror and cut his hand.
It was all very different from the family life and relationship the pair had described to police. Smith continued to maintain that she had not been attacked or abused by Mitchell until the very end when she finally admitted the truth after learning that even her own father had described Mitchell as controlling.
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In a tense and difficult moment, she admitted there had been a "few slaps" and quickly followed this with "it doesn't matter".
During an interivew at Parkside Police Station, a detective said to her: "Look me straight in the eyes and tell me Kane hasn't assaulted you on a number of occasions."
To which she replied: "A couple , yeah". She did, however refuse to admit that he had ever harmed Teddie or the other children and said "he loved that baby".
The only time Mitchell looked genuinely upset was when police told him a DNA test had shown he was not Teddie's biological father. Police said later he needed "boxes of tissues" after hearing the news.
Viewers also learned that he had tried to kill himself after being bailed from the police station and released on an electronic tag.
He threw himself in front of a van on the A10 in Hertfordshire and sustained life-threatening injuries.
As he was recovering in hospital, he was charged with Teddie's murder.
Det Insp Lucy Tompson described him as "completely devoid of remorse and empathy for Teddie". She said: "It was all about Kane, not what Teddie had been through."
A post-mortem examination showed Teddie’s skull had been broken in half. A coroner later described it as a catastrophic and unsurvivable injury.
In his short life, Teddie suffered a fracture to his spine and several breaks to his ribs and pelvis. Both clavicles had also been broken.
A pathologist likened the injuries to those inflicted on Baby P.
Mitchell was found guilty of murdering Teddie and received a life sentence with a minimum tariff of 18 years. Lucci Smith was found guilty of child neglect and handed a two-year community order.