A foster mum beat a boy, 6, to death in a frenzy of violence hitting him 135 times with a metal spade leaving him in a coma.
Yulia Blokhina was branded a “meat grinder” for bludgeoning helpless Stepan Kukin 135 times to his head and body with a shovel in Russia.
The 34-year-old tortured him after he had already been left writhing in agony on the floor from being struck on the head with a wooden mop handle as “punishment” for taking food from the fridge.
Stepan was still alive at the end of this horrific attack with 135 blows.
But cruel Blokhina and her husband waited one and a half hours before calling an ambulance.
He had suffered open head injuries and fractures to his collarbone, ribs and pelvis as well as multiple cuts and bruising.
The boy remained in a coma for nine months and died in hospital in April without regaining consciousness.
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Blokhina initially claimed that he sustained the wounds by “falling out of his bed”.
Later the mother-of-three blamed her own eldest daughter Alina who, at the time, was below the age of criminal responsibility so could not face charges.
She pressured the girl to perjure herself and confess to the crimes but forensic evidence provide Blokhina's guilt, her trial in Vologda was told.
It took 40 minutes in court to list all the injuries little Stepan sustained at the hands of his foster mother.
Blokhina was convicted of murder, torture, previous bodily harm, and failing in her duties as a foster mother.
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Her husband Yevgeny Blokhin, 36, was jailed for four years for torture, inflicting medium bodily harm and abandoning the child to danger.
He failed to stop the fatal attack or to immediately call an ambulance, the court was told.
The couple had used “systematic” violence against the child on a regular basis, often subjecting the child to beatings.
They were fostering Stepan because his biological mother Alla Kukina was jailed for a knife attack on her husband, who later died, which she claimed was self defence.
As a result she lost her parental rights.
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Kukina said: “I don’t even know what to say. This is not a mother.
“My child was given to a meat grinder, and she did not even repent although she herself has three children.”
She claimed the sentence against the foster father was too light.
“He did not stop the beating, and besides, he himself beat my son,” she said.
Judge Lyudmila Verkhnyova heard that Blokhina was fostering the child because she was a distant family member, the niece of Kukina’s late husband.
But she and her husband “developed a negative attitude to the boy”.
She accused him of “eating too much” but carers at his kindergarten said he was underfed.
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When he went for daytime sleeps, he took a piece of bread to hide under his pillow.
The boy’s wounds prompted a group of volunteers to raise money for his medical treatment.
The group also launched a campaign to detain the foster parents who were not initially held.
Later they arranged his funeral and erected a memorial tombstone.
The couple’s daughter Alina finally admitted she had not been at home when her mother caused the horrific injuries to her foster brother.
When she went out, her was watching cartoons, she said.
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