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Mum ‘recorded boyfriend beating her 2-year-old son when she tried to catch him cheating’

Kyrell Matthews, 2, died from serious injuries at his mum’s flat on October 20, 2019 (Picture: PA)

A mum accused of murdering her two-year-old son inadvertently recorded her boyfriend hitting him when she tried to check if he was talking to other women, a court has heard.

‘Harrowing’ clips capture toddler Kyrell Matthews crying and screaming as he was allegedly abused by Kemar Brown, 28, who is heard telling him to ‘shut up’.

The little boy, who was non-verbal, later died at the family’s flat on October 20, 2019. He suffered a litany of internal injuries, including 41 rib fractures and a 1.6in (4cm) wide cut to his liver.

Mum Phylesia Shirley, 24, and Brown, who was not Kyrell’s father, both deny murder.

Shirley has admitted allowing the death and allowing serious physical harm to a child, while Brown denies two further charges, causing or allowing death, and causing or allowing serious physical harm to a child.

Prosecutor Edward Brown QC told the Old Bailey the recording offered a glimpse into the alleged abuse taking place at Shirley’s flat in Thornton Heath, south London, in the months before Kyrell died.

He told jurors: ‘It makes for harrowing listening, because, say the prosecution, you will hear Kemar Brown hitting that child again and again on different days, and you will hear Kyrell crying and screaming as a result.’.

The prosecutor added: ‘It appears that Phylesia Shirley had taken to setting her phone up to record what might or might not be going on in the flat when she was out, or when she was at least not within earshot.

‘It appears that she was checking up on Mr Brown to see if he was contacting other women.’

Brown has admitted his voice is on the recordings, which capture ‘slapping sounds’ and ‘hitting noises’.

After Kyrell was told to ‘shut up’, Shirley could be heard asking ‘What did he do?’, jurors heard. Brown replied ‘He got up.’

‘Plainly, she (Shirley) has seen distress at the very least, expecting punishment of Kyrell having taken place by Kemar Brown. It is plain, say the prosecution, what you can hear’, the prosecutor said.

The case was described as a ‘determined pattern of repeated and significant assaults on a completely defenceless and young child’.

Kyrell, who didn’t go to nursery, was ‘reluctant to go back into his mother’s flat’ having spent the day out on one occasion, the court heard.

Both defendants – who were not employed – said they left the property at different times on the day the toddler died, but only the mum’s account could be confirmed by CCTV.

Shirley said she raised the alarm when she got home, telling the NHS’s non-emergency 111 number her son was ‘acting really funny’ and was ‘floppy’ with his eyes rolled back.

Kyrell suffered a litany of internal injuries (Picture: PA)

She was transferred to a clinical adviser, who instructed her on giving two-handed chest compressions and breaths.

The mother cried as she was told to ‘push down hard and fast’, with the expert telling her: ‘Do not be afraid to push hard’.

Kyrell appeared to make a noise and Shirley said: ‘He’s awake, his eyes just opened but he’s not looking at anything, he’s just staring.’

Ambulance crews arrived 12 minutes after the call, but tragically couldn’t save the little boy.

The prosecution claims his internal injuries came from at least five separate incidents in the four weeks leading up to his death.

But Brown’s defence says they were the result of incorrect advice from NHS 111 on how to resuscitate the little boy.

The trial continues.



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