John Smith

John Smith, died with 54 bruises, including three adult bite marks, on his body. The boy, was seen with injuries in four of the six months he spent with his prospective adoptive parents Simon and Michelle McWilliam. His penis was cut, his face burnt and his body bruised from head to toe, injuries seen by social workers who never once sought medical help for him. 

John died on Christmas Eve 1999 from a severe brain haemorrhage, which experts testified was caused by blows normally seen on battered boxers.

Date: 1999-12-24
Placement type: To be adopted
Type of abuse: Lethal physical abuse
Abuser: Adoptive father, Adoptive mother


Portslade, West Sussex
United Kingdom
DocumentDatesort icon
Flawed social work let John die2001-10-23
John was beaten black and blue2001-10-23
Legal stalemate prevented murder trial2001-10-23
Child cruelty pair jailed2001-10-23
'Jekyll and Hyde' with a violent streak2001-10-23
Case changed the system2001-10-23
Case 'destroyed' social workers2001-10-23
Pictures reduced jurors to tears2001-10-23
We'll back colleagues, says union2001-10-23


Pound Pup Legacy