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Boy, 4, who escaped house of horrors and raised the alarm had so many bruises doctors thought he had leukaemia

A NEGLECTED four-year-old who fled a house of horror had so many bruises that doctors thought he had cancer.

The boy managed to escape the flat in Ayrshire where a toddler was being kept in a homemade cage.

Crown Office
This is what the modified cot looked like where the younger boy was found[/caption]
Claire Boyle was convicted of neglecting the two-year-old and the four-year-old children while they were in her care, and co-accused Timothy Johnstone was convicted of neglecting the four-year-old while in his care[/caption]

Evil Claire Boyle trapped the youngest victim in a modified cot with a wooden frame strapped across the top.

She claimed it was for his protection, a court heard.

The four-year-old escaped by squeezing through a six-inch gap in the window and dropping four feet to the ground.

He was found wandering the streets alone in Newmilns his pyjamas in the pouring rain on October 3, 2018.

When taken to hospital to be checked over, doctors discovered so many bruises they thought he may have blood cancer or a blood clotting disorder, the Daily Record reports.

Dr Christine Findlay, a consultant paediatrician with NHS Ayrshire and Arran, said there were “fingertip bruises” on the older boy suggesting “a child having been grabbed”.

She said there were so many bruises doctors believed the boy may have had an “underlying medical condition which predisposed the child to bleeding – a blood disorder, like hemophilia or leukemia”.

This is a child who has lots of signs of injuries.

Dr Christine Findlay

Dr Findlay said the “number, size and pattern” of bruises on the boy left her “worried”.

She added that there were more than you could expect from “normal childhood play”.

The boy also had “crusted” blood around his ears, indicating “a blow to the ear”, she said.

She added: “This is a child who has lots of signs of injuries.”

Boyle is now facing jail following her third conviction for child neglect

A court heard how Boyle, 34, had previously tried to sell a child for £1 million and had shaken him, shouted at him and abandoned him.

The horrors only came to light after the four-year-old escaped from the flat.

Boyle is now facing jail following her third conviction for child neglect.

Boyle and Timothy Johnstone, 57, were both convicted of neglect on Thursday after a trial at Kilmarnock Sheriff Court.

The court heard a passer-by found the older boy alone in a street, Ayrshire, in October 2018.

They raised the alarm, which lead to an investigation where officers then found the younger boy trapped in the cage in a bedroom.

Giving evidence, Police Constable Adam Peppard said: “[The toddler’s] nappy was full and hanging low and he was upset.

“[He] was within the makeshift cot – the bottom of the cot had been removed and strapped to the top to stop the child getting out. It was turned into a very risky cage.

“She [Boyle] started blaming it on the other child. She said it was ‘all his fault’. She stated he was able to open the window and let himself out.

“She said her solution was to put things in front of the window and to put the base over the top of the cot.”


A charge that the pair assaulted the older boy was withdrawn by prosecutor Ed Sheeran during the trial.

Sheriff Higgins convicted Boyle of neglecting the two-year-old and the four-year-old children.

Johnstone was convicted of of neglecting the four-year-old.

The judge adjourned the case and called for background reports to be prepared ahead of sentencing.

The court heard that in 2015 Boyle tried to sell a child for £1million.

She also shook them, shouted at them and abandoned them in a “damp and draughty” close in the town.

When asked about her previous convictions outside court, Boyle insisted she had done nothing wrong, and said: “Shut your mouth. Get tae f***.”

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