A two-year-old girl was killed in an “extremely violent attack” by her mother’s boyfriend, a court has heard.
Lola James died in hospital on July 21, 2020, having suffered a “catastrophic” head injury and 101 external injuries, Swansea Crown Court heard.
Kyle Bevan, 31, of Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, denies murdering Lola four months after moving into the family home in Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire.
Lola’s mother, Sinead James, 30, denies causing or allowing her death.
Prosecutor Caroline Rees KC said Mr Bevan, who she said was prone to violent outbursts and was an amphetamine user, subjected Lola to a “brutal” assault while he was alone with her between the evening of July 16 and the morning of July 17.
She said Mr Bevan claimed Lola’s injuries were caused by her being pushed down the stairs by the family dog, but that the claim was a “deliberate lie to cover up his guilt”.
Phone records show that at around 06:30 BST on 17 July, Mr Bevan googled: “My two-year-old child has just taken a bang to the head and gone all limp and snoring. What’s wrong?”
Ms Rees said that despite this being an indication that the fatal injuries had already been caused, Mr Bevan waited another hour before calling an ambulance at around 07:30.
Ms Rees said when paramedics arrived at the home they found Lola lying unconscious with a swollen and bruised face, and she also appeared to be wet.
The prosecutor said it is believed that Lola had been scrubbed clean.
Investigators also noted that the bath was spotlessly clean despite the rest of the house being generally dirty.
A vomit and blood-stained grey onesie was also found in the corner of the living room, the court heard.
Ms Rees said: “We say that the injuries noted to Lola, including those which caused her premature death, were the result of a brutal and extremely violent physical assault upon her by Kyle Bevan whilst they were alone together.
“We say that, rather than face up to that which he did to the little girl, Kyle Bevan immediately tried to save himself.
“Rather than immediately call the emergency services, as surely would be natural had this been an accident as he now says, he took time to concoct excuses and lies.
“He tried, the prosecution say, to take a coward’s escape by trying to place false blame upon the family dog, suggesting that Lola must have fallen down the stairs.
“It is the prosecution case that the injuries sustained by Lola are wholly inconsistent with an accidental injury, and show instead that she was the victim of what must have been a frenzied, brutal and violent attack at the hands of somebody she should have been able to trust.”
Ms Rees said Mr Bevan tried to “cover his tracks”, “even as far as cleaning the bath that we say he put Lola in, perhaps to revive her after his attack or alternatively to clean her of blood and vomit”.
‘Her life had barely started’
Ms James claims she was asleep when her daughter’s injuries were caused, which is accepted by the prosecution, Ms Rees said.
But the prosecutor said that Ms James should have been aware of the threat Mr Bevan posed to Lola due to previous violent incidents against her.
“We do say that she was, or at least should have been, well aware of the risk of violence which Kyle Bevan posed to her child, but she did nothing to protect Lola from the danger which he presented, instead choosing to prioritise her relationship with him over her own daughter’s physical safety,” Ms Rees said.
Experts are expected to be called by the prosecution during the trial to testify that Lola’s injuries show she was a “victim of abusive trauma” and a “deliberate physical assault”.
Lola was two years and nine months old when she died on July 21, 2020 at Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital in Cardiff.
She was described in court as a “happy, beautiful and busy little girl”.
“Her life had barely started,” Ms Rees said.
The trial continues.
Source – BBC News