A mother and her violent ex-boyfriend have been jailed after they were found guilty of killing their two-year-old son after a horrific abuse captured on secret cell phone footage.
Yrell Matthews was diagnosed with 41 broken ribs and internal bleeding from a fatal 1.6-inch cut to his liver after collapsing and dying at his home in Thornton Heath, south London, on October 20, 2019.
He had suffered weeks of atrocities at the hands of Kemar Brown, 28, and mother Phylesia Shirley, 24, leading up to his death, the Old Bailey heard.
Brown was convicted of murder after a trial earlier this month, while Shirley was acquitted of murder but found guilty of the alternative charge of manslaughter.
They appeared side by side in the dock on Friday when Brown was sentenced to life in prison with a minimum of 25 years while Shirley was sentenced to 13 years.
Prosecutors told the trial that Kyrell was repeatedly beaten by the then-couple over a period of several weeks, with “harrowing” secret audio recordings of the violence allegedly perpetrated by the couple in Shirley’s one-bedroom apartment.
The court heard disturbing cell phone footage of both adults hitting Kyrell multiple times.
The audio had been secretly recorded by Shirley because she suspected her partner of infidelity.
The jury heard how the non-verbal Kyrell was subjected to at least five separate attacks in 28 days, which experts say indicates a significant period of abuse.
The fractures were caused by a twisting motion and the fatal liver injury resulted from a kick, punch or blow to the stomach, the jury said.
Kyrell, who was described as a “happy, smiling” child, would have expressed the pain he endured in the final days of his life despite being unable to speak, the court heard.
A jury deliberated for more than three days to find Brown guilty of murder and causing or allowing Kyrell’s death.
Shirley was acquitted of murder but found guilty of the alternative charge of manslaughter.
Additional coverage by Press Association
https://www.independent.ie/world-news/kyrell-matthews-mother-and-violent-ex-boyfriend-jailed-for-killing-defenceless-two-year-old-41488195.html Kyrell Matthews: Mom and abusive ex-boyfriend jailed for killing ‘defenseless’ two-year-old