Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Delroy Catwell found guilty of three-year-old girl's murder

Lylah Aaron
Image caption Lylah Aaron was described as "bubbly and outgoing"

A man has been found guilty of murdering his girlfriend's three-year-old daughter while he was supposed to be looking after her.

Delroy Catwell was alone with Lylah Aaron at their home in Sheffield when he subjected her to what police called a "forceful and sustained attack".

Catwell, 31, denied murder but was found guilty at Sheffield Crown Court. He will be sentenced on Wednesday.

Lylah's mother, Precious Chibanda, was in court as the verdict was read out.

During a two-week trial, the jury of five women and seven men heard how Catwell, Lylah and Ms Chibanda shared a house in Beck Road, Sheffield.

On February 8, Catwell was left in charge of Lylah as her mother went to work.

'Repeated impacts'

The court heard how her mother returned later to find her daughter in bed and only later realised she was unconscious.

She had suffered serious head injuries and died later in hospital.

Image caption Delroy Catwell was found guilty after a two-week trial at Sheffield Crown Court

The post-mortem examination revealed her injuries were caused by "repeated impacts to her face and skull".

The examination also found bruises on her body consistent with being punched, kicked and slapped, and she had three broken ribs.

Forensic examination of a bedroom in the house suggested damage to a wall had been caused by someone smashing Lylah's head against it.

Det Supt Dave Barraclough, who led the investigation, said: "This has been a particularly harrowing case for all concerned.

"Lylah was a happy, innocent girl who was much loved by her family. It's horrific that she was viciously murdered by Catwell, a man who should have been caring for her."

South Yorkshire Police said Lylah was "outgoing and bubbly" and should have been attending a pyjama event at her nursery on the day she died.

Bryan Cox QC, prosecuting, told the judge, Mrs Justice Nicola Davies, that Catwell has a previous conviction for sexual activity with a 13-year-old girl, dating back to 2005.