WARNING DISTRESSING CONTENT Phylesia Shirley was found guilty manslaughter over the death of her son Kyrell Matthews, who died in October 2019 after he went into cardiac arrest at his home in Thornton Heath, south London
Image: Met Police)
A man who killed his partner’s non-verbal two-year-old son after leaving him with horrific unsurvivable injuries has been jailed for 25 years.
Phylesia Shirley was found guilty of a manslaughter over the death of Kyrell Matthews, who died in October 2019.
The defenseless tot went into cardiac arrest at his home in Thornton Heath, south London.
At the time of his death he had 41 rib fractures and was also discovered to have internal bleeding and a four centimeter cut to his liver.
Kyrell had suffered horrific beatings on a regular basis in the months leading up to his death, the court heard.
Shirley’s boyfriend Kemar Brown was found guilty of his murder after the both stood trial at the Old Bailey. He has been jailed for 25 years.
The cruel pair sat with blank expressions on their faces in the dock as they heard the verdicts.
Judge Mark Lucraft QC told them: “The court had to listen to some harrowing recordings that you made on your phone of the abuse carried out on your young boy.
“You should be utterly ashamed of what you have done.”
Judge Lucraft then told Shirley: “You continued to leave him in Brown’s care including on the day of his death. In addition you were also mistreating Kyrell and used violence on him. There was significant mental suffering caused to Kyrell.
“This was not just an abuse of position of trust, this was a gross abuse of position of trust. He should have felt safe and secure.”
Shirley, who is 24, had admitted allowing death and allowing serious physical harm to a child but had denied murder.
Her then-boyfriend Brown, 28, had denied all three charges.
The toddler could be heard crying and screaming on distressing audio files taken from Shirley’s phone and played to jurors during the trial.
Prosecutors say Kyrell was repeatedly struck over several weeks, with secret audio recordings capturing the violence.
The court was shown heartbreaking new footage, Kyrell can be seen laughing and smiling at the camera just weeks before his death.
As he handed Brown with the life sentence, Judge Mark Lucraft QC said he inflicted a “truly shocking catalog of injuries” upon two-year-old Kyrell.
He condemned him for the “sustained abuse” shown to the toddler, which was captured in various recordings spanning a three month period.
He told him: “You are heard to say ‘You have to ruin all the fun’. Those six words show your disregard for him and his life from him.”
Another video shows him in his mother’s arms on his birthday as she blows out candles on a cake. Shirley can be seen smiling at him.
The court had also heard that whilst Shirley was distressed and “hysterical” when Kyrell was declared dead, Brown, who was not the child’s father, remained calm and disengaged throughout.
Prosecutor Edward Brown QC told jurors at the Old Bailey: “Kyrell had his ribs crushed or broken by blows within the four weeks before October 20.
“At least one of the defendants plainly affected a significant number of injuries in at least five separate incidents in the four weeks leading up to… Kyrell’s death.
“The pain and distress in those four weeks when he was abused was brought vividly to the fore by those harrowing recordings.
“On October 20, his ribs were crushed once more – it killed him.”
Police later found the secret audio files on Shirley’s mobile phone, which were apparent attempts of the mum trying to catch Brown being unfaithful, but inadvertently captured the abuse, the prosecution said.
They included multiple audio files where it appeared Kyrell was hit repeatedly, with Brown saying “shut up”, causing the toddler to cry and scream.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.