Child killer to serve 20 years

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A child killer who subjected a little girl to a brutal attack has been jailed for life – and told he must serve at least 20 years.

Delroy Catwell, aged 31, was meant to be looking after his partner’s daughter Lylah Aaron, aged three, at her home in Beck Road, Shiregreen, Sheffield – but instead subjected her to a horrific beating using his fists and feet while her mum was at work.

Lylah Aaron, the three-year-old girl from Beck Road, Shiregreen, murdered in February 2013.'Delroy Catwell

Lylah Aaron, the three-year-old girl from Beck Road, Shiregreen, murdered in February 2013.'Delroy Catwell

She suffered fatal brain damage and died that day at Sheffield Children’s Hospital.

Speaking after Catwell was sentenced at Sheffield Crown Court yesterday, Keith Chibanda, Lylah’s uncle, said: “Justice for our baby girl has been done.

“We will continue to grieve for little Lylah in private and we will miss her dearly.

“She will never be forgotten by her family and friends. Our love for her will always remain.”

Judge Nicola Davies said Catwell was left in charge of Lylah – an ‘engaging, outgoing, chatty child’ who was seen running into nursery the day before her death ‘without a care in the word’.

Her mother Precious Chibanda, who was training to be a nurse, was working a shift at Derby Hospital on the day of the attack.

Judge Davies said she was trying to build a better life for herself and Lylah.

Sentencing Catwell, she told him: “It was her trust in you which permitted Precious to leave her much-loved and only daughter in your care. It is difficult to conceive of a greater abuse of trust than that which you perpetrated in killing this vulnerable and defenceless girl.”

The court heard the attack must have happened on Friday, February 8, at about noon.

However, when Miss Chibanda rang Catwell, a DJ who ran his own business selling motor accessories, at 2.30pm, he said Lylah was unwell and had not wanted to go to nursery, where she was due to attend a ‘pyjama day’.

When Miss Chibanda returned from work she found Lylah asleep in bed, but another check revealed she was unconscious and Miss Chibanda dialled 999.

Lylah had suffered fatal brain damage, broken ribs and bruising to her head and body.

Judge Davies said the bruising was consistent with impacts from ‘fists, feet, a blunt object or by the propelling of Lylah’s head against an object’.

Catwell was told he will only be released when he is no longer a danger to the public.