Heartbreaking videos show two-year-old ‘giggling and happy’ weeks before murder


Heartbreaking videos of a two-year-old giggling and playing in his mother’s arms just a few weeks before being brutally murdered.

Kyrell Matthews was found with 41 rib fractures and internal bleeding after being killed by his mum’s boyfriend, Kemar Brown, 28.

In one video, his mum Phylesia Shirley, 24, who has been found guilty of a manslaughter, carries him above a decorated birthday cake.

Another clip shows him in his pajamas on the sofa, as his mum films him giggling into the lens of the camera, MyLondon reports.

Several photos were also released from Kyrell’s short life including one in which he poses in an Arsenal football kit on a balcony.



Several photos were also released from Kyrell’s short life

The playful scenes are a stark contrast to the horrific scene that was met by paramedics who desperately tried to save his life after he went into cardiac arrest on October 20, 2019.

Shirely made a 111 call after her son fell unconscious and his body became “floppy.”

In what prosecutor Edmund Brown QC described as a “relatively calm” tone, she told the NHS call handler: “Basically Kyrell has been acting really funny. His chest is like coming out like he ca n’t breathe, he’s not responding properly.

Whilst five of the broken ribs were attributed to resuscitation efforts, it was determined that his injuries would have been sustained on at least five occasions in the four weeks leading up to his death.

Mr Brown told jurors: “What you will hear of amounts to no less than a determined pattern of repeated and significant assaults – on a completely defenceless and young child.

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“And it will be no surprise that the effect of these injuries would have been real pain, not only on their infliction, of course, but also pain and discomfort after and following each violent episode.”

The couple were arrested on October 31 and charged with his murder, with both denying the charges. Kemar Brown, who is not Kyrell’s father, said that he had gone to the shops that morning, and had returned to find the two-year-old unconscious.

He said that they had tried to feed him “cornflakes, juice and sweets to help him wake up,” and that his mum had then decided to call the emergency services.



The couple were arrested on October 31
The couple were arrested on October 31

His mum can also be heard in the background of a few recordings, as she too tells Kyrell to “shut up” when he is in distress.

During the initial playing of the videos, Shirley was escorted from the court by a police officer.

In addition to this, Kyrell’s grandparents revealed that after he visited their home in September 2019, he was reluctant to return to his mum’s flat.

He had been “much quieter than usual” and was unable to settle.

At the time of Kyrell’s death, his mum had been in a relationship with Brown for approximately a year, and despite having separate addresses, he was regularly at the flat.

Neither were employed and Kyrell, who was non-verbal, was not registered at a nursery, therefore he was constantly in contact with the couple.

Both have denied his murder, however Shirley has pleaded guilty to allowing the death of a child and allowing physical harm to be caused to a child.

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Her defense lawyer, Louise Sweet QC, had made it clear throughout the trial that she rejected the term “causing.”



Kyrell, who was non-verbal, was not registered at a nursery
Kyrell, who was non-verbal, was not registered at a nursery

Jurors at the Old Bailey had seen evidence from forensic pathologist Dr Evan Matshes who said that Shirley should not have been told by NHS 111 staff to administer two-handed CPR to her son, and that he could not rule out that those actions had caused the broken ribs.

Brown’s lawyer Mark McDonald asked the jury to “keep an open mind” and it was his case that the CPR administered to Kyrell that resulted in his death, and not the alleged abuse he suffered at home.

Brown was found guilty of all three charges, including murder, whereas Shirley was found guilty of manslaughter on Friday, March 4 by a jury at the Old Bailey.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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