Murder jury is played 999 call

Lylah Aaron, the three-year-old girl from Beck Road, Shiregreen, murdered in February 2013.
Lylah Aaron, the three-year-old girl from Beck Road, Shiregreen, murdered in February 2013.
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A panic-stricken mum begged her unconscious three-year-old daughter to wake up in an emotional 999 call played to jurors at Sheffield Crown Court.

The call was made by Precious Chibanda, mother of Lylah Aaron, who died after allegedly being attacked by boyfriend Delroy Catwell.

Catwell is on trial for Lylah’s murder, which he denies.

During the call Miss Chibanda could be heard saying: “Come on baby, wake up, are you okay? Wake up Lylah.”

She told the operator: “I’ve got a three-year-old and she’s not waking up. She’s breathing but she’s unresponsive otherwise, her body is stiff.”

Miss Chibanda could be heard crying and becoming hysterical and asking where the ambulance was.

The prosecution say Lylah was attacked by Catwell, aged 31, of Beck Road, Shiregreen, on February 8, while her mother, a student nurse, was at work in Derby.

It is claimed Lylah, who suffered brain damage, broken ribs and bruises, suffered a ‘sustained and forceful’ attack at Catwell’s hands.

Miss Chibanda wept as she recalled arriving home from work and finding her daughter ‘sound asleep’ and ‘hot to touch’.

She said: “She appeared sound asleep. I touched her face and it was really hot. I left her to sleep.”

Miss Chibanda said she checked Lylah half an hour later, and then again just before 6pm, when she tried to rouse her.

“I started speaking loudly to her to wake her up,” she said. “She was unresponsive. She felt really cold. She was breathing but unconsious. I picked her up and her body was stiff.

“I panicked. I ran downstairs carrying her. I laid her on the floor.”

Miss Chibanda told the jury Catwell froze.

“He looked like he was in shock,” she said. “He just stared. He didn’t move, he didn’t say anything.”

“I was saying, ‘Call 999, we need to call for help’.

“I realised he was just in this trance. He was frozen in one position so I reached over to get the phone.”

Miss Chibanda said that, in March 2012, Lylah’s nursery had contacted her about a bruise on her head.

She said when she asked Catwell about it, he told her Lylah had hit her head on the sink when getting off her potty.

The trial continues.