‘Evil’ killer met mother online – months later her little girl was dead after suffering 101 injuries
A mother and her “monster” boyfriend have been found guilty over the death of a two-year-old girl fatally attacked at her home in Wales.
The gruesome death, in which two-year-old suffered “catastrophic” brain injuries and more than 100 bruises, has renewed concerns over social services failings during lockdown.
Lola’s stepfather Kyle Bevan denied murdering the youngster on 17 July 2020 a few months after moving in with the family in Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, claiming she had fallen down the stairs after being jumped on by the pet dog. But a jury at Swansea Crown Court convicted the 31-year-old of murder while Lola’s mother, Sinead James, was found guilty of causing or allowing her death.
But Lola’s tragic death was not the first time her family came to the attention of the authorities.
Before step-father Bevan came into her life, social services raised concerns following reports of domestic abuse with James’ former partner at her home in January 2020. The agency also raised concerns about the condition of the home.
James had been twice educated on how to spot signs of an abuser, but chose to prioritise her relationship with Bevan over the safety of her child, the court head.
She was also told by the local authority not to invite adults into the family home if she did not know them well or if they were alcohol or drug abusers, but she ignored their advice too.
Lola’s mother met Bevan online in February 2020 and he moved in with her and Lola just a day after knowing each other. He would then go on to live with them during the early months of lockdown.
Warning signs emerged early on, as Facebook messages between the pair from April 2020 revealed Lola suffered a “bloodied nose” while in Bevan’s care. That same month, Lola suffered a grazed chin again while in Bevan’s care – he simply blamed it on Lola calling her a “crazy kid.”
In the months leading up to Lola’s death, the accidents intensified. Messages between the couple in May said Lola had cut her lip “falling from her bed” while Bevan was in the room, then days later Bevan turned his rage on James destroying parts of the house with a hammer and attempting to headbutt her forcing James to flee with her children.
A week before her death, Lola sustained an injury to the bridge of her nose causing her eyes to swell also. Bevan again blamed the two-year-old saying she had jumped from the sofa.
The day before Lola died, Bevan claimed he stayed up late with her taking pictures on Snapchat and then put her to bed. However, a few minutes after midnight James said she heard a bang and a scream before she found Bevan comforting Lola in her bedroom. He said Lola had hit her head and he was “dealing with it.”
James believed him and went back to bed, leaving her daughter in his care. Early the next morning, Bevan searched the internet about babies sustaining head injuries and “loss of consciousness.”
Two photographs taken by Bevan at 6.38am and 6.39am show Lola’s head, eyes and lips extremely swollen and bruised and she appears to be unconscious.
Frantic now, Bevan calls his mother who is a healthcare support worker, but she does not answer, before later responding to images of Lola’s injuries telling her son to take the toddler to the hospital.
Minutes later, Bevan sends his mother a gruesome 22-second video of him trying to prop up Lola who is clearly in an unconscious state. When she inevitably falls to the floor with a thud, he comments: “She’s gone. She’s gone.”
Bevan woke up his partner, James, and told her Lola had fallen down the stairs, and showed her a piece of the two-year-old’s tongue on his finger.
Eventually, James calls an ambulance arriving in minutes to treat Lola who was unconscious but still alive.
Bevan shamelessly tells the paramedics “I think the dog tripped her over.”