An evil parent who tortured her baby so badly he had to have his legs amputated has had her imminent release from prison put on hold.
Jody Simpson, 24, and Anthony Smith, 47, from Maidstone, have served just five years of their 10-year sentences for subjecting Tony Hudgell to the horrific abuse when he was just weeks old.
They were convicted of cruelty at Maidstone Crown Court in February 2018 but had already served time on remand while awaiting the trial.
They were due to be released this month.
But now, Deputy Prime Minister and Justice Secretary, Dominic Raab, has stepped in in the case of Simpson, who was due to be released tomorrow.
Today, Simpson was told that Mr Raab is referring her case to the Parole Board for a decision, following changes introduced through the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts (PCSC) Act 2022.
It means she will be kept behind bars for longer.
The referral overrides the automatic conditional release of a prisoner in specific circumstances where public safety is at risk.
Mr Raab MP said: “Tony endured a horrific and systematic campaign of abuse from his birth parents, and we are duty bound to do everything possible to prevent another child suffering at their hands.
“So, I have referred the case of Jody Simpson to the Parole Board, under new powers designed keep prisoners incarcerated for longer, when their release would put public safety at risk.”
A decision on whether to release Smith will be made by the Parole Board in due course.
Tony's adoptive mother, Paula Hudgell, thanked the Deputy PM for the actions taken.
In a Tweet, she said: "Thank you @DominicRaab for stepping in.
"I absolutely agree she posses a risk to the public especially children.
"Five years of a 10 year sentence is nothing compared to the daily challenges that Tony suffers due to their wickedness and abuse of a five week old baby."
Tony was left with broken fingers and toes, as well as torn ligaments, in an attack just 41 days after his birth.
Rather than getting help, Smith and Simpson left him to suffer for 10 days.
Tony contracted sepsis and was near death when they took him to a hospital.
Medics were eventually forced to amputate the little one's legs because of the damage caused.
The sentencing changes, also introduced through the PCSC Act, are known as ‘Tony’s Law’, following tireless campaigning by Tony and his adoptive family.
Tougher sentencing for child abusers came into force in June, meaning anyone who causes or allows the death of a child or vulnerable adult in their household can now be given up to life in prison - up from the previous 14-year maximum.