Kearns couple charged in case of severe child abuse of 8-year-old boy

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KEARNS, Utah (ABC4 News) – A couple has been charged with child abuse after horrific details of abuse surfaced from a home in Kearns over the summer. 

In court documents filed October 12, Mandy Jean Barbour and Steven Gene Durrant lived in the Kearns home with another occupant and two children, ages one and eight. 

A witness, who lives in the home, reported that on July 6th she heard Barbour yelling at the 8-year-old over a bag of chips and heard the child yelling “don’t kick me.” When the witness intervened she found the boy on the ground with his hands over his head and Barbour standing over the top of him. The child said Barbour had kicked him in the ribs, in which the child had visible bruising on his chest.

A visitor who was also in the house on July 6 told police he heard Durrant hitting and slapping the child, followed by a loud impact on the wall. When he saw the child he had swelling on his face. The visitor also observed Durrant and Barbour smoking something in their car and that the child told them Durrant sells drugs. 

On July 12, the same witness noticed the child had black eyes and a swollen face and said the child told her he had not eaten that day. The occupant then took pictures of the child, it is not known if this is the same time it was reported. 

The occupant told police that she has overheard Durrant call the child derogatory names and that the couple rarely feeds either the children.

This isn’t the first time Durrant has been accused of child abuse. In 2014 another individual told police she noticed the child had a head injury and when asked about it, the child told her Durrant grabbed him by the back of the neck and hit his head against the wall, resulting in a large bump on the back of his head. The individual went to the home of Durrant and observed a large hole in the wall. Again in 2017 the same person saw several bruises on the child and the boy told her that Barbour and Durrant had hit him, including with a belt. 

The child told police that Durrant and Barbour would keep him out of school to hide the bruises and that he was accused of stealing Durrant’s pillow in July and was hit approximately 19 times and kicked him in the back, causing his face to hit the wall resulting in two black eyes and swelling of his face. The child told detectives that he has been in the car with the couple and the younger child and that both Barbour and Durrant were smoking pills. 

In the charging documents, the detective stated that Durrant is being charged with a serious case of abuse towards his minor son that includes physical violence, abusive language, neglect, drug use and food deprivation. The detective also said that Durrant told others he would kill them and the child if any steps were taken to remove the child from him. 

In a search of court records for Durrant, a petition for guardianship of the child was requested by another party in 3rd district court but later moved to juvenile courts.

In a case of court records for Barbour, a petition for guardianship of two other children was requested by a different party and granted.

Both Durrant and Barbour were booked into the Salt Lake County Jail on October 19. Durrant is charged with one count felony child abuse, three counts felony child endangerment and misdemeanor child abuse. Barbour is charged with one count felony child abuse and three counts felony child endangerment. 

If you suspect child abuse or neglect is occurring, call the Child Abuse/Neglect Hotline 855.323.3237.

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