A BOURNEMOUTH mother subjected her two children to a "prolonged" campaign of physical abuse, including fracturing her four-month-old baby's arm.

The woman, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, twisted and pulled at the child's arm with such force that it caused a rotational fracture – forcing her to rush the baby to hospital.

She also scratched, kicked and pulled the hair of her two children, both of who have now been removed from her care.

But the woman was spared a prison sentence at Bournemouth Crown Court on Friday.

During the hearing it was revealed that it was the woman's own admissions that had led to police becoming involved.

She also wrote a letter to the judge in which she described her own actions as "monstrous" and expressed her remorse.

The court heard the woman made the confession after being confronted by preschool staff about marks on her youngest child.

She later admitted repeatedly physically abusing both of her children over a prolonged period.

The woman admitted assaulting her eldest child by "grabbing him, pushing him about, pulling his hair and kicking him in the groin".

She admitted assaulting her youngest child by "pulling his hair, grabbing his arm and squeezing his face".

The woman also told staff that she had fractured the youngest child's arm by pulling and twisting at it.

The court heard she had initially lied about the incident, saying it had happened while pulling the child up from the floor during a feeding session.

In a letter, written to the judge, she claimed she had herself had faced an "appalling childhood" and had suffered from depression and anxiety as an adult.

She also said she was "ashamed", expressed remorse for her actions and said she had since given up both of her children, one into care.

The woman, who had no previous convictions, pleaded guilty to two counts of child abuse and one count of causing grievous bodily harm without intent.

In sentencing, Judge Robert Pawson said: "These are appalling offences.

"They are aggravated by the fact they took place over a long period time and the fact that you tried to cover it up.

"You have shown remorse and self awareness. There is a realistic prospect of rehabilitation.

"If I send you to prison there is less chance of that rehabilitation then if I were to put you in the hands of the probation service."

The woman was sentenced to a two year prison sentence, suspended for two years.

She was also ordered to complete up to 50 days of rehabilitation activity requirement days and complete 300 hours of unpaid work.

A reporting restriction was put on protecting the identifies of the two children.