Cameron Rose detained for killing lover's three-year-old son
- 29 November 2012
- From the section London
A teenager has been detained for five years for killing the young son of a woman he was having an affair with.
Rhys Lawrie, 3, from Erith, died from a head injury in January 2011 after being left alone at home with Cameron Rose.
Rose, 18, from Eltham, south-east London, was found guilty of manslaughter and assault causing actual bodily harm at a previous hearing.
Rhys, who had epilepsy, was left with a head injury, bruising to his face and body, and his right leg was broken.
The teenager, who was cleared of murder, will serve his sentence at a young offenders' institution.
Rose, who was 16 at the time of Rhys's death, was attending a school for emotionally disturbed youngsters when he began an affair with the child's mother Sadie Henry, now 28, in November 2010, the Old Bailey heard.
'Dreadful, violent death'
He hit the boy when he was left to look after him while Miss Henry went on the school run with another son.
Four days later, Rhys collapsed after being swung by his leg and his head knocked against a wall.
Rose later claimed he had accidentally elbowed the child in the face.
The Recorder of London, Judge Peter Beaumont, told Rose: "Rhys died a dreadful, violent death at your hands and that must not be forgotten."
The jury heard the mother had tried to hide the relationship from paramedics and police but continued to meet Rose in secret until September 2011.
She was later cautioned for trying to cover up the relationship.
She told the jury: "I felt guilty because my three-year-old son died and the person I cared about saw him die.
"I thought he died from natural causes. I thought I should have been there."
She denied being obsessed with Rose, who the court heard had wanted to end the relationship a month before the child's death.
She said: "I was attracted to him. I didn't see the consequences.
"I was not obsessed. I cared about him. At the time I thought the feeling was mutual.
"Now that I look back, I do see myself as irresponsible but it was not as sordid as it was made out to be."
Rosina Cottage QC, for Rose, said he had anger management and emotional issues and the offence resulted from circumstances which would not be repeated.