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Oct 23, 2015 5:26 PM

Peggy Starr, convicted of starving 6-year-old, avoids prison, gets deferred sentence


DOVER - A Nottingham woman convicted of starving a then 6-year-old boy will remain on probation, but a judge declined to put her behind bars.

Peggy Starr received a 3 1/2- to 7-year deferred sentence on Friday. She was found guilty of second-degree assault earlier this year. She and her daughter, Christina Thomas, were accused of chaining the boy to a bunk bed and putting him in a dog kennel when he lived in the daughter's New Durham home from 2008 to 2010.

When the state intervened, the boy weighed only 23 pounds.

Judge Steven Houran agreed that the two women's actions were reckless. Starr said it was never her intention to hurt the child.

The boy's biological mother told the court she too was abused in the home and that it's left permanent damage.

"He will never be a normal child; he should be able to sleep at night and not have nightmares," said the mother, who, as a victim, is not being identified. She told the court the boy is two grades behind in school, and there are times when he calls her, sobbing.

"I want you to know what it's like to be stripped naked and put in a snowbank and to be made to take a showed in the middle of winter outside," she said.

Starr's brother was one person to speak in his sister's defense at the sentencing hearing. "I have never ever seen her mistreat any children," he said.

In three years, Starr will have to go back to court when a judge will decide whether she will remain free.

Thomas is serving a 10-30 year sentence for first-degree assault.


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