Liam Fee’s mother allowed to appeal against murder conviction

Liam Fee was murdered by his mother and her partner.

Liam Fee was murdered by his mother and her partner.

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The mother of Liam Fee has been given permission to appeal against her murder conviction.

Rachel Fee, 31, has been told that her lawyers can argue that the judge made mistakes when addressing jurors during her trial earlier this year.

Judge Lord Burns jailed Fee for 23-and-a-half years for the murder of her two-year-old son at their Fife home.

Her civil partner Nyomi, 24, was jailed for 24 years for murdering Liam.

The trial heard that the pair, who are originally from Ryton on Tyneside, spent two years torturing the toddler before finally killing him at their home near Thornton in March 2014.

They left Liam with heart injuries similar to those found on car crash victims.

They also abused two other boys by imprisoning one in a homemade cage and tying another naked to a chair in a dark room that stored snakes and rats.

The Fees tried to pin the blame for the death on another young boy but were convicted of Liam’s murder in May after a seven-week trial at the High Court in Livingston.

Police also found that Nyomi had attempted to frame the child by forcing him to leave his DNA on Liam’s body.

After a short hearing at the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh on Friday, a panel of judges gave permission for Fee’s legal team to appeal against her conviction.

Judges Lady Paton, Lord Bracadale and Lord Turnbull agreed with submissions made by defence counsel Gavin Anderson.

Mr Anderson argued that evidence was available to suggest Lord Burns misdirected jurors over the legal requirements needed to secure a murder conviction against Rachel Fee.

The advocate also argued the judge did not properly explain the lesser charge of culpable homicide.

He said that jurors considering their verdict against Fee may have felt that the evidence presented to them meant it was more appropriate to return a guilty verdict for culpable homicide, he said.

Rachel Fee’s appeal hearing will be heard at some point in the near future.

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