Mother Convicted of Murder After Lying About Son's Death

Christina Robinson, a 30-year-old mother from Durham, was found guilty of murdering her three-year-old son, Dwelaniyah, at their home in November 2022. The case, which unfolded at Newcastle Crown Court, revealed a shocking campaign of violence inflicted on the child, which Robinson claimed was in accordance with the teachings of the Bible.

Robinson, a follower of the Black Hebrew Israelite movement, admitted to hitting Dwelaniyah with a bamboo cane hours before his death, claiming she was following the teachings of the Bible that promote the use of the rod for correction. This incident occurred after she watched a YouTube video that quoted scripture promoting the rod for correction. She used the cane on Dwelaniyah when he was “messing about” with his food, as she believed it was necessary for discipline.

Mother Convicted of Murder After Lying About Son’s Death

In addition to the caning, Robinson was accused of deliberately scalding Dwelaniyah, causing severe burns to his legs and buttocks in the weeks before his death. She chose not to seek medical help for these burns, which would have caused significant pain. On the day of Dwelaniyah’s death, Robinson was observing the sabbath of the religion she followed, which she described as more of a lifestyle than a religion.

Robinson initially lied to the police, claiming Dwelaniyah had suffered his burns by messing about in the shower. However, she later admitted that she had scalded him while cleaning him using a shower head. She did not seek medical attention for the burns, instead giving him paracetamol and Calpol and bandaging him.

Robinson told her trial she used the bamboo cane (pictured) to hit Dwelaniyah because he was messing around with his food

The prosecution presented evidence that Dwelaniyah had more than 60 injuries to his body, including the burns and the fatal head injury. The court heard that Dwelaniyah was violently shaken by Robinson, leading to his death. The prosecution argued that the burns on his legs, buttocks, and genitals would have caused excruciating pain, and that Robinson could not possibly take him to the hospital because she knew questions would be raised about how he sustained those injuries.

The post-mortem examination revealed that Dwelaniyah died not from eating a cheese bap but because of a major head injury that had been deliberately inflicted upon him by the application of significant force. The damage to his brain and eyes suggested a significant head injury caused by excessive and forceful movement of the head, similar to very forceful shaking.

Robinson’s actions were part of a broader pattern of violence and neglect towards Dwelaniyah. The court heard that she had been watching a YouTube video that quoted scripture promoting the rod for correction, which she followed in hitting Dwelaniyah. She admitted to being a “complete beginner” in following the teachings of the Black Hebrew Israelites but insisted she thought she was doing the right thing and was eager to be obedient to God.

Robinson’s conviction marks a tragic end to a case that highlighted the devastating consequences of religious extremism and the misinterpretation of religious teachings. Her actions led to the death of her son and resulted in a life sentence for the mother who claimed to be guided by the Bible.

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