Wealthy company director's wife who assaulted her three adopted children for a decade is jailed for four years
21st October 2010
A leading scientist broke down as she was jailed for physically abusing her three adopted children for almost ten years.
Dr Jill Newcombe-Buley punched, slapped and suffocated the youngsters and even stamped on one while wearing stiletto heels, a court heard.
Newcombe-Buley also plunged the youngster into ice-cold baths and smothered them during years of 'systematic' abuse.
One child was cut badly after being hit over the head with a dustbin.
The court heard how Newcome-Buley had given up her work as a chemist but failed to cope with life as a mother and housewife.
Her husband, company director Dr Nicholas Newcombe, admitted child neglect after he failed to report her to the authorities.
Prosecuting counsel John Wyn-Williams told how Ms Newcombe-Buley frequently used a pillow to suffocate the children when they would not go to sleep.
On other occasions she would hold their head under water in an ice-cold bath.
Mr Wyn-Williams recounted 'a catalogue of systemic abuse' which lasted for ten years until it was uncovered in 2009.
He told Newcombe-Buley: 'You punched them, you kicked them and used stillettoes to stamp on them. It happened regularly.
'Child A suffered particular physical abuse. In one instance a bin was used to smash him on the head, which caused an inch-long gash in the crown.
'In another instance Child B was smothered until she blacked-out. When she came to she found Newcombe-Buley kneeling on the floor shaking.
'In March 2009 Child A approached police with the allegations. He retracted them at one stage, but came forward again in September 2009.'
The court heard that the couple were childless and both busy professionals but that the children had come into the care when they were both in their mid-thirties.
Newcombe-Buley, 45, from Prestbury, near Macclesfield, Cheshire, pleaded guilty to 15 charges of child cruelty at an earlier hearing and was sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court.
She sobbed as she was jailed for four years by Judge Stephen Clarke, who agreed to a request to lift reporting restrictions enabling the couple to be named.
Newcombe, 43, of Stockport, admitted three charges of child neglect. He was given a 12-month sentence, suspended for a year.
His defence barrister Joanna Rodikis said he had been aware of 'a small fraction' of the abuse and did not witness it.
The children, who cannot be named for legal reasons, are now with new carers.
The court heard the assaults and neglect happened at the former family home in Prestbury between 2001 and 2009.
Newcombe-Buley, a doctor of chemistry and high flyer in pharmaceutical research, became the 'main carer' while Newcombe worked for pharmaceuticals giant AstraZeneca.
The court heard the eldest child 'courageously' alerted the authorities. There is no suggestion the abuse was sexual.
Judge Clarke said: 'No children should be subjected to punching and slapping and believing they are to be suffocated.
'They were plunged into cold water, struggling to try to stay alive. This was extreme cruelty over an extended period of time.'
Detective Alison Broadbent wept as the court was told of the horrific abuse suffered by the three young children.
The officer worked closely with the youngsters for more than a year and helped bring their parents to justice.
Det Con Broadbent, of Cheshire Police's public protection team, was praised by the judge and will receive a public commendation.
The court heard how she helped the victims and attended strategy meetings so suitable new carers could be found. She also gathered evidence which led to both parents pleading guilty.
John Wyn Williams, prosecuting, told the court: 'Alison Broadbent has worked extremely hard on this case. She was extremely important. She knows now that the children are starting to develop and display some kind of happiness.'
Judge Stephen Clarke said he would sign an application for her public commendation.
Her boss, Supt Geraint Jones, said: 'Alison's work has been outstanding.'