AN EX-COUPLE who lied about who was looking after a 20-month-old boy when he was "seriously injured" have been sentenced.

Lindsey Williams, 28, of Waun Road, Cwmbran, and Matthew Haines, 26, of Coed Eva, Cwmbran, were given suspended sentences at Cardiff Crown Court on Thursday, after pleading guilty to perverting the course of justice.

Gareth James, prosecuting, said on December 4, 2015, the young boy - Williams' son - was taken to Royal Gwent Hospital with a total of 40 bruises and a fractured skull.

Williams told doctors she had been looking after her son, when it was in fact Haines, the court heard.

Haines also gave this account, which was told to police initially and to family court proceedings when the incident was investigated, the court was told.

Mr James, prosecuting, said Williams told the lie fearing the repercussions of the boy's father finding out others had been looking after him.

Ieuan Bennett, defending Williams, said it was a moment of "blind panic" which she "bitterly regrets."

The court heard, Williams was at work when the boy was being looked after by her brother and then by her partner at the time, Haines.

After finishing work she received a phone call about the accident and rushed home to take her son to hospital, the court heard.

She told doctors she had been at home when her son had an accident.

This lie was later repeated by herself and Haines, the court was told.

When interviewed by police in February, 2017, both admitted they had lied and expressed regret, said Mr James, prosecuting.

Mr James said a judge in the family court concluded it was more likely the injuries were the result of an "unwitnessed accident in a chaotic household."

The ex-couple said the boy fell from an exercise bike which caused the injuries.

No criminal proceedings have been taken regarding the boy's injuries.

Scott Bowen, defending Haines, said the defendant's life had been "effectively put on hold" by the incident.

Mr Bowen said a substantial time had passed since the incident and the delay in proceedings was not the fault of Haines, who made "full and frank" admissions when interviewed.

Mr Bennett, defending Williams, said the mother "loves her children dearly" and is now only able to see them weekly under supervision.

He said her children "think the world of her" and that there is hope she will have full access to them again in the future.

Williams attended a voluntary police interview in February, 2017, and made full admissions, it was added.

Mr Bennett added that Williams has an "element of dissatisfaction" over what caused the injuries.

"She would be very keen for people to have another look at what did cause those injuries to her son," he added.

Both were sentenced to eight months in prison, suspended for 18 months.

A three-month curfew which will be electronically monitored was also imposed.

Judge RP Rowlands said the sentence reflected the findings of the family court, which did not conclude the injuries were deliberate.