Heartbroken family of murdered Doncaster toddler Keigan O'Brien describe how their lives have "changed forever"

The heartbroken family of murdered toddler Keigan O’Brien has told how their lives have “changed forever” after the youngster died from severe head injuries.

Friday, 13th November 2020, 12:30 pm

Martin Currie, aged 36, of no fixed abode, was found guilty of murder by a jury on November 10 after a four-week trial at Sheffield Crown Court, and his partner O’Brien, aged 33, of Bosworth Road, Doncaster, was found not guilty of murder but she was found guilty of allowing the death of a child.

Both were also found guilty of cruelty to a child between July, 2019, and January, 2020, after O’Brien’s two-year-old son Keigan O’Brien died on January 9.

Currie was sentenced on November 11 to life imprisonment with a minmum of 22 years’ custody before he can be considered for release and O’Brien was sentenced to eight years’ custody.

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Pictured is toddler Keigan O'Brien, of Doncaster, who died of head injuries in January when he was just two-years-old.

Jason Pitter QC, prosecuting, said Keigan suffered a brain bleed, possibly from having his head hit against a wall or the floor, and over the previous weeks he had suffered a broken spine, broken ribs and a broken arm.

Keigan was subjected to violence with fractures caused by severe force and injuries to his brain suggesting he had been shaken, according to Mrs Justice Jennifer Eady QC.

Keigan’s natural father Ricky Gray stated: “I will never forgive myself for failing to protect Keigan. I should have been there for him.”

He added: “I wanted him to know he was my son and I loved him from the bottom of my heart.”

Pictured is Martin Currie, aged 36, of no fixed abode, who was found guilty of murdering Sarah O’Brien’s two-year-old son Keigan O'Brien, and also pictured is Sarah O’Brien, aged 33, of Bosworth Road, Doncaster, who was found guilty of allowing the death of her son.

Mr Gray said: “I am struggling to make sense of this situation. I am angry, frustrated and in turmoil. I want to turn back the clock and be the daddy he deserved and share precious moments with him and not be the stranger who visited him occasionally.”

Mrs Justice Eady outlined Keigan had been subjected to “extreme acts of violence” over time and highlighted one instance where blood was found on a wall behind a high chair which she was sure was caused by a blow to his face while he was already bleeding from his mouth.

O’Brien claimed she had returned home on January 8 after taking Keigan’s siblings to school when Martin Currie called her upstairs and she said saw the toddler on his bedroom floor and she called 999 and the youngster was pronounced dead on January 9.

Katherine Goddard QC, defending O’Brien, said Currie had tried CPR and emergency services did the same before Keigan was taken to hospital but died the following day.

Mrs Justice Eady QC said the most likely scenario is that Currie yanked the youngster by his arm and shook and threw him down with his head hitting a hard surface.

Sarah O’Brien’s brother Michael O’Brien stated: “On January 8, 2020, our lives changed forever.”

He added: “The following days were a blur. We were numb and didn’t eat and didn’t go out because we were scared what people would say to us or think.”

Mr O’Brien said: “We, as a family, have lost two people from our lives, Keigan and Sarah, as a result of the verdict.

"We have lost a beautiful and adorable cheeky boy. He was and always will be loved and missed every day.”

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