Parents weep in dock as they appear in court charged with causing son's death
THE parents of a two-year-old boy have appeared in court charged with causing his death.
Sally-Anne Dent and Shaun Binfield both wept in the dock as the brief details surrounding how Riley Pettipierre allegedly came about his death were read out.
Cries of support for the couple were heard from family members at Southern Derbyshire Magistrates' Court.
The pair, who have been charged with manslaughter, were initially bailed by magistrates yesterday, giving them a brief glimmer of hope they might be able to organise their son's funeral.
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But prosecutors successfully lodged an appeal, meaning the couple must stay behind bars until their next court appearance, in Nottingham on Thursday, March 29.
Dent, 32, and Binfield, 44, who also have a one-year-old daughter, were arrested following Riley's death on Tuesday. Police and the ambulance service were called by Dent to their home, a flat above News and Booze Extra on Kilbourne Road, Belper, at 10.45am.
Riley was taken to hospital but declared dead a short time later.
The cause of the death is yet to be determined but a post-mortem examination has taken place. An inquest into his death is due to open today.
Dent, dressed in a grey jacket, beige-coloured flecked jumper and blue jeans, sobbed throughout yesterday morning's hearing in Derby.
Her partially-bleached hair fell to her shoulders as she mouthed "I love you" to family members in the court room.
Binfield, dressed in a white open-necked shirt and a black suit, looked tired and also wiped tears from his eyes as the brief details of the case were read out by prosecutor Michael Laws.
Following representations on behalf of the parents, magistrates granted the pair bail. But Mr Laws immediately lodged an appeal against the decision, meaning the pair must remain in custody.
Tributes for the tragic toddler continued to pour in yesterday, with further flowers placed outside the Belper shop. One card read: "RIP little angel, you will always be sadly missed by everyone. Lots of love."
One mum picking up her daughter from a nearby school said: "It is just terrible. I read about it in the newspaper and saw it on the TV. I don't know the family but my heart goes out to anyone who loses a two-year-old child. It's a total tragedy,"
Another mum said: "Everyone outside the school gates has been talking about it. It is such a shocking tragedy."