On December 1, 71-year-old David Dearlove was found to have bashed the head of 19 month old Paul Booth against a fireplace while swinging him around the room by his ankles, an attack witnessed by Paul's then-three year old brother Peter, in the town of Stockton-on-Tees in north-east England.
Mr. Dearlove claimed at the time the child had died after falling out of bed.
Crucial evidence which helped convict David Dearlove of murdering Paul Booth almost 50 years on — a doll marked with the bruises and burns the toddler had suffered in 1968. pic.twitter.com/xc68ZBxWiT— Tom Wilkinson (@tommywilkinson) December 1, 2017
Later in life Peter reported the murder of his brother to police, who failed to act — he was moved to pursue the case again in 2015 upon seeing a Facebook photo of his brother with their step-father, reporting his recollections again to police who opened an investigation.
While the Crown had been unable to exhume the body of Paul, pathology records from 1968 recording bruising on the toddler's ankles where he had been gripped, supporting his brother's account.
Jury have reached verdict in toddler murder trial of David Dearlove — the alleged crime only came to light when this faded old picture was posted on to Facebook https://t.co/vp6OqJaDzL pic.twitter.com/SbTRfabJV5— Tom Witherow (@TomWitherow) December 1, 2017
Booth's sister was also credited with assisting the investigation when the verdict was rendered.