CHILLING before and after pictures show how an evil mum and dad cleaned their home to get their baby son back before murdering him.
Stephen Boden, 30, and Shannon Marsden, 22, killed 10-month-old Finley Boden in a "savage and brutal" murder on Christmas Day.
The tot suffered an "appalling" catalogue of injuries including 71 bruises and two burn marks.
Finley also had 57 fractures to his tiny body that had been inflicted in the short period before he collapsed at home in Chesterfield, Derbyshire.
Tragically, the youngster had been returned to Boden and Marsden's care just 39 days before he was killed.
Papers from a family court hearing have now been released that show how Finley was returned home after Derbyshire County Council previously placed him into care.
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The couple managed to use the 2020 Covid lockdown to dupe officials into believing they were fit enough to look after their son.
Due to limited physical interaction, social workers were unable to routinely attend people's homes.
Instead, Marsden sent photos of her home looking clean and tidy.
Just days later, Finley died in squalor after sleeping on a vomit and faeces-stained cot mattress cover in his cot, which had been squashed against his parents' bed.
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Shocking pictures released after Marsden and Boden were convicted of murder showed mouldy milk bottles and plates littering the floor in the cramped bedroom.
The tot's Calpol medicine had also been carelessly placed next to cigarette ends and pouches of tobacco.
A social worker had been tasked with visiting the evil couple just before the family court hearing.
She described how Marsden had "ensured Finley was in the shade" on a sunny day and noted how she held the baby's hand was a "natural response from a caring parent".
Ms Williams also wrote that Boden had interacted with his son "by talking to him and making him smile".
During one home visit, she noted the fridge was well-stocked and the bathroom clean.
But her positive remarks were punctuated by reports of the couple still smoking cannabis.
Finley had been removed at birth after social workers feared he was likely to suffer "significant harm" at home.
They also said the couple were living in squalor and pointed out there was a risk of domestic violence due to a previous conviction Boden held for violence against an ex-partner.
The council recommended to the court on October 1 that the baby should be gradually returned to his parents' care during a "transition plan".
At first he would see Boden and Marsden during the day then stay with his carers at night before the amount of time he spent with them gradually increased.
But Finley's guardian, Amanda O'Rourke, who was employed by Cafcass, the independent Children and Families Court Advisory Service, wanted the opposite.
Although she acknowledged the squalor and drug-taking, she requested speeding up the process as the couple had "clearly made and sustained positive changes".
The decision to place Finley back in their care was made by two magistrates – aided by a legal advisor – who said they supported Cafcass' view.
During a harrowing trial, jurors were told Finley was subjected to "repeated acts of severe violence" after being returned to his parents.
Even before he was handed back to Marsden and Boden, the couple had searched for several news articles relating to parent-involved child deaths.
One November 19, 2020 – the day he came home – similar chilling internet searches were also carried out.
Among Finley's horrific injuries were burns caused by a "hot, flat surface" and another possibly from a cigarette lighter.
His pelvis had also been broken in two places – possibly after he was kicked or stamped on – and the inside of his mouth was torn.
He later developed pneumonia and sepsis as his drug-user parents worked together to hide his injuries from social services.
On Christmas Day 2020, paramedics scrambled to the home found Marsden "upset and screaming" as Boden attempted to resuscitate their stricken son.
Finley was rushed to hospital but tragically he couldn't be saved and was declared dead shortly after.
But callous Marsden and Boden showed no remorse over their son's death and even spoke about Christmas dinner in the police car and plans to sell Finley's pram.
The following day, they were heard "laughing and joking" at a relative's house.
Boden and Marsden are due to be sentenced on Friday.
A spokesperson for Derbyshire County Council said: “The courts have released a selection of documents regarding decisions made by the Family Court in Finley’s case.
“The author of the independent Local Child Safeguarding Practice Review commissioned by the Derby and Derbyshire Safeguarding Children Partnership will consider the information contained within these documents to help form the partnership’s learning findings and recommendations.
“Our deepest sympathy goes to everyone who knew and loved Finley and we remain fully engaged with the statutory legal review process which looks in depth at the role of all agencies following the death of a child.
“Strengthening practice is a constant focus for children’s services and when the review is concluded we will be in a position to communicate more fully about this case.”
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