Evil stepfather with ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ temper who left two-year-old Lola James with more than 100 injuries and filmed the child as she lay dying is convicted of murder – as mother who let him move into their home faces jail
- Mother and boyfriend guilty over death of two-year-old girl Lola James
- Kyle Bevan had denied murder and claims family dog pushed her down stairs
An evil stepfather has been convicted of murdering his girlfriend’s two-year-old daughter and filming the child as she lay dying.
Sinead James, 30, moved her partner Kyle Bevan, 31, who had a ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ temper, into the house she shared with Lola James just days after meeting him on Facebook.
A court heard he carried out a ‘frenzied and extremely violent attack’ on little Lola just four months later in the family home in Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire.
Bevan lied to police to say the family dog pushed Lola down the stairs after the tot suffered 101 injuries and a catastrophic brain injury.
James, of Neyland, denied causing or allowing the death of a child. Bevan, of Aberystwyth, denied murder. The pair have both been found guilty after a jury took over ten hours to decide their verdict at Swansea Crown Court.
A mother and her ‘monster’ boyfriend have been found guilty over the death of two-year-old Lola James (pictured) who was fatally attacked at her home in Wales
Lola’s stepfather, Kyle Bevan, 31, (pictured), denied murdering the youngster a few months after moving in with the family in Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire
Lola’s mother Sinead James, 30, (pictured) had denied causing or allowing her death but was found guilty
It was accepted mother-of-three James was asleep at the time and did not take part in the vicious assault that led to her daughter’s death.
Yet it was the prosecution’s case that James, a previous victim of domestic violence, failed to protect Lola from Bevan, ‘instead choosing to prioritise her relationship with him over her own daughter’s physical safety’.
The court heard Bevan had a ‘nasty and violent temper’ and had failed to call an ambulance immediately and instead filmed a ‘disturbing 22-second film’ of seriously injured Lola as he tried to prop her up.
The footage was taken 26 minutes after Bevan had already carried out a series of internet searches at 6.32am on July 17, 2020.
One search said: ‘My two-year-old child has just taken a bang to the head and gone all limp and snoring. What’s wrong.’
Prosecutor Caroline Rees KC said: ‘He needed the time to cover his tracks. When paramedics arrived they found that Lola had been dressed but was wet and that Lola was seriously ill.’
Bevan later messaged James to ask, ‘how are we both going to go to sleep and chill later?’, when police boarded the house as a crime scene.
The court heard Lola died from her injuries four days later at Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital in Cardiff.
Mrs Rees said: ‘Bruises were noted on Lola’s forehead. Kyle Bevan continued to try and explain things away by blaming the family dog for pushing Lola downstairs.’
The court heard doctors found 101 surface injuries on Lola including ‘bruising all over her little body and grazing of the skin.’
She also suffered extensive damage to every part of both retinas along with a catastrophic brain injury.
Photos from police crime scene investigators showed a ‘clean and shiny bath’ while the rest of the house was piled with clutter and toys.
A search of the house revealed a ‘child’s wet and vomit and blood stained grey onesie’ in the living room and curtains and a sheet in the washing machine.
The court heard Lola had suffered previous injuries when left alone with Bevan – but her mum said she had no concerns over her daughter’s safety.
She said: ‘He was really good. He would cook her dinner. He would do stuff with her. He was always buying her stuff she didn’t need but he would treat her.’
Lola was rushed to hospital with 101 surface injuries and a catastrophic brain injury on July 17, 2020
James said Bevan woke her to say that Lola had fallen down the stairs (pictured), and presented a piece of her daughter’s tongue on his finger
James said Bevan told her he used to be a ‘spice head’ while also confessing to taking amphetamines, tranquilliser Xanax and cannabis.
The court heard James had witnessed Bevan ‘smashing up the house’ in May 2020, after he flew into an alcohol and drugs-fuelled rage but she allowed him to stay living in the home.
The court heard Lola had previously sustained injuries including a damaged nose, black eyes and a cut lip while in Bevan’s care.
James attempted to carry out domestic violence checks on Bevan using Clare’s Law the day before the attack but he refused to give her his date of birth.
The court heard Bevan said: ‘I don’t have to give it to you. They won’t find anything on me.’
James was also was warned her boyfriend was dangerous just eight days before he carried out a fatal attack by his ex-partner’s mum.
The concerned woman messaged James on Facebook to say Bevan was a ‘child protection risk’ and said, ‘I’m concerned about the fact that he is around your children.’
The trial was shown shocking pictures of the squalid home at Swansea Crown Court
Photographs of the home showed old takeaway boxes and cigarette buts on a wooden table
The Crown Prosecution Service also issued this picture, which shows an unwashed onesie
Judge Mr Justice Griffiths adjourned the sentencing for April 25 for pre-sentence reports.
He told Bevan: ‘There is only one sentence for murder and that is life imprisonment.’
Lola James’s biological father, Daniel Thomas, said in statement released by Dyfed-Powys Police: ‘The pain and grief I feel every time I close my eyes and see your perfect little face is unbearable.
‘The pain I feel thinking of all the smiles you gave to me and all the smiles I won’t get a chance to give back to you hurts so much.
‘Even to say your name shatters my heart to know you can’t hear my voice anymore, the only reason I can stand here today is for hope that you can see me, see that you were loved and that you deserved to live a full, happy, safe life surrounded by the joy that you gave to others.
‘I’m so sorry your short life was filled with so much pain. You are so loved Lola and so missed every single day. A great team with much passion has worked together for this day since you’ve left us.
‘Special thanks to the investigation team for not leaving any question unanswered or stone unturned, and to my family support officers for keeping me focused and guiding me through the darkest hours along with my closest friends and family.
‘The outcome here will never stop the hurt you felt or the hurt that lives inside of me, it’s been a long time coming to see justice and I can only pray that these cruel, evil people that hurt you and allowed you to be hurt, suffer pain and torment until they take their last breath.’
Nicola James, Lola’s maternal grandmother, said in a statement after the guilty verdicts were read: ‘We would like to thank the police, local authority and all involved for everything they have done to get us to this point.
‘We will be forever grateful for the support we have received from our Family Liaison Officers and the support we have received from Sandy Bears.
‘She (Lola) will forever be our diamond up in the sky, we will never ever forget her, and we will continue to keep her memory alive.
‘We write her letters, and we talk to her in the sky at night.
‘As a family we will never get over this, the loss that we feel is indescribable. We haven’t begun to process all of this, and don’t know how we ever will.
‘Lola we love you, we will always love you, and we will miss you forever.’
Senior investigating officer Detective Chief Inspector Gareth Roberts of Dyfed-Powys Police welcomed the verdict and said: ‘Lola died on July 21, 2020, as a result of horrendous injuries which were inflicted by Kyle Bevan in what must have been a frenzied and extremely violent attack on a helpless two-year-old child.
‘Lola had 101 external injuries to her body and her death was caused by a catastrophic brain injury, likely caused by blunt force trauma, punching or slapping, shaking, or a combination of both.
‘Bevan delayed raising the alarm and seeking medical attention for at least an hour after he inflicted the fatal injuries and in the time since he has shown no remorse, emotion or any care for Lola.
‘Consumed by his own self-preservation, Bevan lied and fabricated an accidental stair fall to try and cover his tracks but, with the help of medical experts, we have been able to prove that his actions were deliberate, abhorrent and evil.
‘Lola should have been able to rely on her own mother to keep her safe from harm and physical risk. However, Sinead James seriously failed in her duty towards her daughter.
‘She was, or at least ought to have been, well aware of the risk of violence which Bevan posed to her child but did nothing to protect Lola from the danger which he presented.’
NSPCC Cymru’s assistant director Tracey Holdsworth said: ‘This is another tragic case where a young child has died at the hands of those who she depended on.
‘We can all look out for children’s welfare, and anyone concerned about a child can call the NSPCC free helpline on 0808 800 5000, or email [email protected].
‘If a child is in immediate danger, please call 999.’
This is a breaking news story. More to follow.
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