Lola James: Mother's boyfriend denies killing two-year-old girl in 'violent attack', court hears

A two-year-old girl was killed by her mother's boyfriend in a "frenzied and extremely violent attack", a court has heard.

Kyle Bevan, 31, denies murdering Lola James.

Swansea Crown Court heard how he claimed the toddler's injuries were caused by the family dog pushing her down the stairs.

Lola died on 21 July 2020 after suffering "catastrophic" head trauma, as well as 101 external injuries and damage to both of her eyes.

Bevan, from Queen's Road in Aberystwyth, southwest Wales, had only moved into the family home in Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, four months previously.

Sinead James, Lola's mother, is also standing trial at Swansea Crown Court, having been charged with causing or allowing her death.

Murder accused 'delayed calling ambulance'

Opening the prosecution's case in court, Caroline Rees KC said Bevan had subjected Lola to a "brutal" assault while alone with her between the evening of 16 July and the morning of 17 July in 2020.

The court heard that Bevan was an amphetamine user and prone to violent outbursts.

Jurors were shown internet searches, including one made at around 6:30am on 17 July, which said: "my 2 year old child has just taken a bang to the head and gone all limp and snoring. What's wrong."

They were also shown pictures that Bevan had taken of Lola's injuries, as well as a video he shot which showed her unconscious, badly injured and unable to stand.

Prosecuting, Ms Rees said that Bevan waited another hour before calling for an ambulance at around 7:30am.

She added that Lola appeared to be wet when paramedics arrived, and it is believed, Ms Rees said, that Lola had been scrubbed clean.

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'Brutal and extremely violent'

Investigators found a vomit and blood-stained grey onesie in the corner of the living room, while noting that the bath was spotless, in contrast to poor cleanliness in the rest of the house.

The prosecution accused Bevan of making up a "deliberate lie" about the family dog causing Lola's injuries, as well as cleaning to try to cover up what he had done.

Ms Rees continued: "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."

The prosecutor added that Lola's injuries were "wholly inconsistent with an accidental injury" and instead show "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".

Mother was 'well aware' of risk

The prosecution accepts Sinead James's claim that she was asleep when her daughter sustained her injuries.

But they argue that she should have known of the threat Bevan posed to Lola after previous violent incidents.

Lola's mother was "well aware" of Bevan's temper and knew she had suffered injuries in his case in the past, the prosecution also argued.

Lola died at Noah's Ark Children's Hospital in Cardiff, four days after the alleged attack. She was two years and nine months old.

Those who knew her described Lola as a "happy, beautiful and busy little girl", according to Ms Rees.

"Her life had barely started," she added.

The trial continues.