Greg Christison — The Express May 31, 2016
Rachel Trelfa and Nyomi Fee felt their son was a hindrance to their relationship, ultimately sparking their abuse, neglect and death of the two-year-old.
That is the view of Police Scotland Detective Inspector Rory Hamilton, who headed-up the probe into the young boy’s murder on March 22, 2014.
He paints a picture of how a previously caring and loving mother fell under the spell of “dominant” Fee beginning a cycle of violence which ended with the Liam’s death.
Det. Insp Hamilton said: “During our investigation, we got this picture of Rachael and Nyomi being very, very close and very tight together.
“It would appear that the children have maybe become somewhat of an inconvenience, as far as they’re concerned in the relationship.
“Nyomi would certainly appear to be quite a dominating part of the relationship.”
Trelfa, was brought up in Macclesfield, Cheshire with parents, Howard and Gail and brother, Adam.
She met Liam’s father, Joseph Johnson in 2005 and they moved into a £90,000 home in Ryton, near Newcastle, shortly afterwards.
Meanwhile Fee, the daughter of Kevin and Janice, was living nearby and soon became a friend of Trelfa.
But by 2010, the women’s relationship had developed and they decided to run off together – but not before Trelfa fell pregnant with Liam.
He was born in the north of England on Friday, August 12, 2011 but within five months his mother had left the family home to live with Fee who was the dominant member of the relationship.
Mr Johnson told the women’s trial that the split was “unexpected” and had left him “devastated”.
Following a legal dispute over access, the women, Liam and two other children, who cannot be named for legal reasons, moved to Scotland, where they initially spent five weeks at a Travelodge in Glenrothes, Fife.
They eventually settled in an upper-floor flat on Donald Crescent in nearby Thornton.
The women married in a civil partnership in Kirkcaldy in June 2012 with Trelfa and Liam taking Nyomi’s surname.
DI Hamilton revealed that the abuse of the children began after the women started their relationship.
He said: “All the issues and problems were after Rachel and Nyomi had got together.
“There were no concerns when Rachel was with Joseph – nothing in our investigations suggested anything had been untoward at that time.
“Clearly, there was a significant change in the treatment of the children after Rachel and Nyomi got together.”
Neighbours in Thornton described the children as being “always polite and really well-behaved” and said the women “looked like really good parents”.
However, behind closed doors it was all very different.
The women had an obsession with exotic pets and in May 2012, Fee posted on a reptile forum looking for new equipment, saying she wanted to “build my collection back up”.
Over time they collected a menagerie of animals with police finding dogs, rats and snakes when they searched the property.
One child told the trial that the women had shut them in the room with a boa constrictor – and told him that the snake ate naughty boys.
Trelfa and Fee both have a number of “minor” criminal convictions but nothing to suggest they were capable of murder.
Detectives observed that the killers were “very, very close”, with Fee the more dominant of the two.