A DJ, Delroy Catwell, has been found guilty of murdering his girlfriend’s “bright and chatty” three-year-old daughter when he was supposed to be looking after her.
Catwell,31, was alone with Lylah Aaron at their Sheffield home when he subjected her to what police called a “forceful and sustained attack”.
He denied murdering Lylah but was found guilty by a jury at Sheffield Crown Court after a day of deliberations.
Skynews reports that Catwell showed no emotion as the jury foreman read out the verdict, while Lylah’s mother, Precious Chibanda, had to be comforted by friends and relatives.
During a two-week trial, the jury heard how Catwell, Lylah and Chibanda shared a house in Beck Road, Shiregreen, Sheffield.
On February 8, Catwell was left in charge of Lylah while her mother went to work at Derby Royal Infirmary as a trainee nurse.
The court was told that Chibanda returned later to find her daughter in bed and only later realised she was unconscious. She had suffered serious head injuries and died later in hospital.
The post-mortem examination revealed her injuries were caused by “repeated impacts to her face and skull”.
Forensic examination of a bedroom in the house suggested damage to a wall had been caused by someone smashing Lylah’s head against it.
The court was told there were bruises on Lylah’s body consistent with being punched, kicked and slapped, and she had three broken ribs.
The post-mortem examination showed she had been attacked before.
The jury heard how Catwell had complained about being sidelined as his girlfriend gave more attention to her daughter.
When Catwell gave evidence he tried to blame Chibanda for attacking her daughter.
The judge, Mrs Justice Nicola Davies, remanded Catwell in custody for sentencing on Wednesday.
She heard pre-sentence submissions from both prosecution and defence barristers who agreed that Catwell will receive a life sentence with a minimum term to be fixed by the judge.
Detective Superintendent Dave Barraclough, who led the investigation, said, “Lylah was a happy, innocent girl who was much loved by her family. Only a day before she was seen running and skipping around, like any other child of her age.”