Raab vows to fight High Court decision to free ‘monster mother’

Pride of Britain Awards: Ant and Dec surprise Tony Hudgell

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Dominic Raab has launched a last-ditch attempt to keep a woman who beat her baby so badly that he had to have his legs amputated behind bars. Judy Simpson and her partner Anthony Smith were both given 10 years in prison for their abuse of baby Tony in 2018 but a High Court has ruled that Simpson should be released early.

Mr Raab had decided to put Simpson’s release on hold but the High Court ruled that she should be allowed out of prison.

Now the Justice Secretary has said he will press ahead with an appeal against the ruling in the Court of Appeal to keep the woman behind bars who was dubbed “monster mother” for her crimes.

Ministry of Justice (MoJ) officials this week lodged an application to the Court of Appeal challenging the High Court decision which means that Simpson will remain locked up pending a decision on whether to grant the hearing.

“It’s my duty to protect other children from that awful experience which is why we will be challenging this ruling and Jody Simpson will remain behind bars while the courts consider our appeal.”

The MoJ’s action has been backed by Tony’s adoptive family, who want justice for the boy who suffered a terrible ordeal as a baby.

Tony’s adoptive mum Paula Hudgell, 55, said: “Any extra time Simpson spends behind bars is justice for Tony. She and Smith are monsters.”

The decision to allow Simpson to walk free was made by Mrs Justice Williams who also granted the MoJ 21 days to appeal.

Tony, who is also deaf in one ear and has damaged hip, hand, wrist and jaw from cruelty inflicted on him by Simpson and Smith, was adopted at four months by Paula and Mark Hudgell, of Kings Hill, Kent.

The case is the latest one to raise concerns that potentially dangerous criminals are being released too early by the justice system.

Tony touched the hearts of many during lockdown in 2020 raising more than £1.7million for the Evelina London Children’s Hospital, where doctors saved his life was saved and staff helped him learn to walk on his first pair of prosthetic legs.

The inspirational boy also successfully campaigned with his adoptive parents for Tony’s Law, which has increased the maximum jail terms for harm to a child from 10 years to 14 years and to life imprisonment in fatal cases.


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