Babysitter MONSTER – Mom Breaks SILENCE


When Gemma Collinge arrived at the hospital and found her infant son in critical condition, she felt intense gratitude towards her son’s babysitter Karen Foster. The forty year-old mother embraced the caregiver and thanked her for the speedy action that saved young Harlow’s life. Now, remembering that moment makes her feel sick.

She has since learned that Karen was responsible for the injuries that lander her baby son in the hospital, and ultimately in the morgue. When the babysitter noticed that Harlow, who was then ten months old, was choking on some pasta, she hit his back with substantial force and then administered CPR to try to revive him when his heart stopped beating.

It took Harlow five days to die after being admitted to the hospital, having never regained consciousness after that initial cardiac arrest. Gemma and her life-partner Allen Frangleton were left grief-stricken and bewildered at the loss of their healthy baby son, who had so recently been smiling at them as he ate his wafer cookies and listened to them read Peter Rabbit to him. He hadn’t been a fragile child, and yet only an hour after dropping him off at the licensed day-car facility, he landed in the hospital at death’s door.

The answer to that question is even darker than it at first seemed. According to doctors, Harlow did not choke. He was shaken to death, sustaining brain injuries of such severity that one of his neurosurgeons told the parents that he’d never seen its like.

The 62 year-old Karen presented herself as a lovable-but strict “granny” caregiver. Police investigation into Harlow’s death discovered that Karen had been reported to Osfet on three occasions in the preceding two years—none of which provoked enforcement action. She was also fraudulently receiving disability payments, and had falsified her work history with bogus claims that she had once been a pediatric nurse.

She pleaded guilty to manslaughter and has been sentenced to twelve years in prison.