A 44-YEAR-old woman has been given a life sentence for murdering a child.

Lesley Speed, formerly of Rushbury Road, Rushbury, Church Stretton, was found guilty following a trial at Birmingham Crown Court for the murder of seven-year-old Archie Spriggs.

She will be in prison for a minimum term of 17 years and 180 days.

At around 6.15pm on Thursday, September 21 last year, police were called to a property in Rushbury, near Church Stretton, where Archie was sadly found dead.

Archie's mother, Speed, was found with self-inflicted injuries to her neck and arm and was treated at hospital.

She was arrested on suspicion of murder on the same day, and was later charged and remanded in custody on September 27.

Speed was found guilty of murder by a unanimous verdict, and was sentenced at the same court.

Archie's father has released the following statement: "The loss of Archie is, and continues to be, completely devastating to the whole family and we would like to ask for our privacy to continue to be respected. You should never have to bury your own child."

Following the court appearance, Superintendent Jason Wells, Policing Commander for Shropshire, said: "This was a difficult and distressing investigation from the outset, as Archie's life was taken at such a young age.

"We have supported Archie's family at every stage of the investigation and admire the strength and courage they have shown throughout. We extend our sincerest condolences to them and would continue to ask that the media respect their privacy at this incredibly difficult time.

"I would like to thank everyone who worked on the investigation in order to bring it to court. We understand the impact this case has had on the small community of Rushbury and in particular Archie's school. Our thoughts remain with everyone who has been affected by this extremely tragic case."