Two-Year-Old "Defenceless" Toddler Murdered By His Mother And Boyfriend Court Hears

A "defenceless" toddler was murdered by his own mother and her boyfriend after suffering a "catalogue of very significant" injuries in the weeks before his death, a UK court heard.

The mother of 2-year-old Kyrell Matthews, and her boyfriend have appeared in court charged with his murder
The mother of 2-year-old Kyrell Matthews, and her boyfriend have appeared in court charged with his murder

Prosecutors said that 2-year-old Kyrell Matthews had suffered 41 rib fractures, significant internal bleeding, and bruising, said to be caused by "very forceful squeezing or blows" as he died.

The mother of Kyrell, Phylesia Shirley, along with her then-boyfriend, Kemar Brown, deny murdering the toddler at Shirley's home in Thornton Heath, South London, on October 20, 2019.

Brown and Shirley had been in a relationship for approximately a year when Kyrell was killed, just a month after his second birthday.

Jurors were told that Kyrell was in the full-time care of his mother, who was 21 at the time of his death, Brown was said to spend most of his time at Shirley's one-bedroom flat.

The court heard how both Phylesia Shirley and Kemar Brown were unemployed in the period leading up to Kyrell's death.

Prosecutor Edward Brown QC told jurors at the Old Bailey today: "They therefore together had constant and consistent care of the child.

"You immediately understand the relevance of that issue

"What you will hear in the evidence amounts to no less than a determined pattern of repeated and significant assaults, on a completely defenceless, and young child.

He also added: "It is the prosecution case that the injuries were inflicted on that very young child by the defendants Phylesia Shirley or Kemar Brown or both of them."

Mr Brown also stated that it is extremely likely that Kyrell had been suffering from injuries for "weeks leading up to his death."

He told jurors: "In addition to the five broken ribs, likely to have been inflicted when he was injured so badly that the injuries killed him, he was found to have a total of 36 further rib fractures that had been caused in the days and weeks leading up to his death.

"Some indeed were re-fractures of the same ribs.

"And it will be no surprise to you 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."

Both 24-year-old Phylesia Shirley, and 28-year-old Kemar Brown, of separate addresses in Thornton Heath, deny murder.

Brown has also denied two further charges; causing or allowing death, and causing or allowing serious physical harm to a child.

Shirley has admitted allowing the death and allowing serious physical harm to a child.

The prosecution opening will continue on Wednesday, along with a short response from the defendants' barristers.

This is an ongoing case and we will update you as it progresses.


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