A brave eight-year-old boy who lost both his legs after being abused by his mother has asked “when will they grow back?”
Tony Hudgell was the victim of harrowing torture at the hands of his biological mother Jody Simpson and her boyfriend Anthony Smith.
From the age of just six weeks, they made him suffer, their abuse causing broken bones, toxic shock syndrome, organ failure, sepsis and, ultimately, the loss of his legs.
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He sustained torn ligaments and broken toes and fingers in a series of "spiteful, vigorous assaults" that saw him at one point left injured for 10 days.
Luckily he’s found real parents who love him now, Mark and Paula Hudgell, but they say that things can still be tough.
They told the Mirror: “He is quite scared and anxious. The abuse he suffered hurts him every day.
"He has often asked: ‘When will my legs grow back?’"
The family have been campaigning for the introduction of a new child abuse register, stemming from fears about the release of the torturers, Smith and Simpson, who were locked up in 2018.
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They were due to be released in the summer of this year on licence as part of their sentencing, but Dominic Raab, the Justice Secretary, stepped in and prevented it..
Simpson has argued that the actions of Raab were unlawful and is escalating the matter to the High Court.
If successful, both of the abusers could be let out in January, within 48 hours of the ruling.
Paula said Tony is “very angry with them and angry they could be allowed out of prison.”
She added: “I hope the panel will listen to every word I have to say. They have no right to complain if their release is denied.”
Tony, who was left on life support after his legs were smashed by being swung around so violently, was also found with a lump on his brain.
He will live his life needing special care, as well as prosthetic legs, but that hasn't slowed him down, managing to raise £1.7million for the Evelina hospital that to save him.
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