Mom who tortured son so badly he lost his legs applies for day release

Mom who tortured son so badly he lost his legs applies for day release

Tony Hudgell's birth mother who tortured him so badly he lost his legs has been slammed after applying for day release.

Vile Jody Simpson and boyfriend Anthony Smith were sentenced to just ten years behind bars for horrifically abusing the tot when he was six weeks old.

The brave youngster battled through his life-threatening injuries and found a forever home with Paula Hudgell, 54, and her husband Mark, 57.

The now seven-year-old has heroically learned to walk with prosthetic limbs and captured the hearts of the nation with his strength.

But the family have now been shattered after discovering cowardly Simpson - who could be free in August - is already asking for day release.

Paula told The Sunday People: "Our little boy faces a lifetime of challenges – why can’t his abusers face a lifetime of punishment?

"Simpson isn’t even in a secure prison and the news she has applied for day release has hit us very hard.

"The very same morning this week that we were told, Tony was in so much pain from his hands and struggling to write at school as they are so swollen.

"Every day, he has to overcome the impact of the life-changing injuries they inflicted to his tiny body," she said.

"Yet the monsters that caused his pain and suffering have the gall to ask for day release, all the while counting down the days to permanent freedom in a few months."

Just 41 days after he was born, Tony had suffered broken fingers and toes, as well as torn ligaments, after his sick birth parents carried out a string of "spiteful, vigorous assaults".

Rather than getting help, shameful Anthony Smith and Jody Simpson left him to suffer for 10 days.

His life was hanging in the balance when they finally took him to hospital, where medics found baby Tony had multiple organ failure, septicemia, toxic shock syndrome and fractures to both thighs, lower legs, ankles, toes and thumbs.

He also had a mass on the brain and ended up on life support.

Doctors were eventually forced to amputate the little one's legs because of the damage caused after his parents swung him around so violently.

Tony's devastating injuries meant he would have special needs for life, needing prosthetic legs, and leaving him partially deaf.

Paula continued: "As well as the eight limb fractures and head trauma, which has left him deaf in one ear, Tony had to have 23 operations and eight blood transfusions.

"He had to have a double amputation at the knees at three and his hip is permanently dislocated."

After meeting the maimed tot at four months old, Paula previously told how she "sobbed" and knew she couldn't leave him - so welcomed him into their brood.

Our little boy faces a lifetime of challenges – why can’t his abusers face a lifetime of punishment? - Paula Hudgell

The amazing couple have been by Tony's side ever since.

They campaigned for his depraved birth parents to face justice after prosecutors initially felt there was not enough evidence to convict the pair.

But astonishingly, they were only sentenced to 10 years in prison - as it was the maximum sentence the judge could impose at the time.

It prompted thousands of Brits to sign a petition calling for Tony’s Law, backing tougher punishments for child abusers.

Despite a national outcry, Simpson and Smith will be freed once they have served half of their sentences, with any time spent on remand taken into account.

Birth mom Simpson has already been moved to a cushy Category D open prison, while young Tony is left with permanent scars.

Mom-of-eight Paula said: "We could not have been happier or more relieved when the judge imposed the longest sentence allowed by law at the time.

"We always knew they’d be free in half that time but it just feels so unfair."

The government have since agreed to change the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, upping the maximum sentence for causing or allowing the death of a child from 14 years to life.

But the valiant 54-year-old wants the law to go further, demanding those convicted of child cruelty be monitored, similar to how the sex offenders’ register works.

Wicked child abusers are free from the shackles of the law after fulfilling their licence conditions and probation service supervision.


Paula added: "Sex offenders have to notify police for years, sometimes indefinitely, of where they are living and any aliases they use, so why should those who physically or mentally abuse children be any different?

"Once their prison licence period is up, there is no way of knowing what they are doing."

Paula's campaign, supported by Justice Secretary Dominic Raab, could see the new sentencing measures in action this March.

Mr Raab has also asked officials to look into the idea of a child cruelty register.

Paula said: "It’s ironic that just as Tony’s Law comes into force, our son’s abusers could be enjoying day release.

"At least it will give judges the power to ensure others who assault children spend longer behind bars.

"But the risk may continue after they are back on the streets and our most vulnerable members of society deserve further protection in the form of a child cruelty register."

The inspirational Tony has astounded medics with his progress and the country with his amazing fundraising efforts.

He movingly raised £1.6million for Evelina London Children’s Hospital in 2020 by walking 10km over 30 days using his first pair of prosthetic legs.

The seven-year-old went on to win a Pride of Britain Award for his courage.

Tony with parents Paula and Mark at the Pride of Britain awards.

The Ministry of Justice said: "Tony and his adoptive parents have led an inspiring and successful campaign to change the law, so those who abuse children face the tougher sentences they deserve.

"This Government is committed to protecting the most vulnerable in our society."