Stepfather convicted of murdering toddler has shown no remorse, prosecutors say
A stepfather convicted of murdering a two-year-old girl in a sickening attack has shown no remorse for his actions, prosecutors say.
Kyle Bevan, 31, inflicted fatal brain injuries on Lola James at her home in Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, in the early hours of July 17 2020.
The little girl suffered more than 100 injuries and died in hospital four days later.
Bevan denied he had harmed Lola, instead claiming that the family’s American bulldog Jessie had pushed her down the stairs.
A jury at Swansea Crown Court convicted Bevan of murder and Lola’s mother, Sinead James, 30, of causing or allowing her daughter’s death.
Dean Quick, head of the complex casework unit at CPS Cymru-Wales, described the case as difficult due to its distressing nature.
When asked if either Bevan or James had shown remorse for Lola’s death, he told the PA news agency: “There was certainly no remorse shown during the interviews and clearly both ran trials and were convicted.
“Bevan kept his account right through, so no remorse being shown at that point. Kyle Bevan has not shown any remorse from the beginning to the end of the trial.
“Sinead James has lost her daughter and is going to be devastated for that.”
The senior district crown prosecutor said: “It’s shocking case because we’re dealing with the traumatic death of a two-year-old child and happened in our own home at the hands of somebody who called himself her stepfather.
“Lola had 101 external injuries and she would have died a very traumatic death.”
During the trial, jurors heard Bevan and James met on Facebook in February 2020 – with Bevan moving into the family home just a few days later.
He remained living in the house throughout the early months of the Covid-19 pandemic, during which time Lola suffered a number of injuries while in his sole care including a damaged nose, black eyes and a cut lip.
The drug user attacked Lola in the early hours after taking pictures of her on Snapchat.
Mr Quick said: “The evidence pointed to Lola’s home life being particularly violent. Kyle Bevan was a violent individual who took drugs.
“There had been an escalation in violence leading up to Lola’s death.”
Cover his tracks
After attacking Lola, Bevan used the little girl’s final hours to cover his tracks instead of calling for an ambulance.
He filmed disturbing pictures and videos of Lola, showing marks on her back and extensive swelling and bruising to her head, eyes and lips.
Bevan did not wake James up until 7.20am and only asked his mother to phone for an ambulance until almost 7.30am.
Mr Quick said: “Kyle Bevan in his defence in court and when he was interviewed by the police sort to proportion blame to the family dog and said the dog had knocked her down the stairs.
“It was very clear from the initial investigation and also from the evidence in the case that that certainly didn’t happen. The extent of injuries that she sustained were not attributable to a fall from downstairs.
“If somebody’s child had fallen down the stairs you would have expected the most natural reaction would have been to call the ambulance immediately. He didn’t do so.
“An hour later he actually asked his mother to call the ambulance and in between that he was looking at various searches and cleaning and doing various things about the house to protect himself and to concoct his own story.
“For Kyle Bevan in particular, the fact that he tried to blame the dog is a very lame act really to try and blame it on someone else rather than to take responsibility for his own actions.”
The injuries to Lola’s brain were comparable with those found in victims of a high velocity road traffic collision, Mr Quick said.
He described how Lola was at risk of “serious physical harm” from Bevan, which led to the criminal conviction of her mother.
Mr Quick detailed how James previously removed Lola from the family home due to an incident with Bevan, with him using a hammer to smash up the property on another occasion.
James once ran to neighbours after being assaulted by Bevan, who took drugs and was increasingly violent.
“All of these markers were there. So as far as sympathy for her it’s clear that the jury did not have sympathy for and found that there are obvious signs of violence and risk to the child,” Mr Quick said.
“As her mother she ought to have been aware of that risk and that she failed to take steps which were expected of her to protect her from that risk.
“Being a domestic abuse victim in itself doesn’t absolve you of parental responsibility.”
At Swansea Crown Court on Tuesday, Bevan was jailed for life with a minimum term of 28 years. James was jailed for six years.
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