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Murdered boy's mother 'never suspected partner of violence'

Alex Malcolm Image copyright Met Police
Image caption Alex Malcolm's mother said he was "smart with so much potential"

The mum of a young boy murdered by her then boyfriend said she never suspected he was violent, an inquest has heard.

Alex Malcolm, five, was killed by Marvyn Iheanacho, who flew into a rage after the boy lost a trainer in a park in Catford, south-east London.

He suffered head and stomach injuries and died in hospital in November 2016.

Iheanacho had a string of previous convictions, including for attacks on ex-partners. Alex's mother Lilya Breha said she had not known this.

The couple met after Iheanacho was released from prison in summer 2016.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Alex's mother Lilya Breha said no-one told her about Iheanacho's violent past

Ms Breha, 32, told the jury at Southwark Coroner's Court she had had some contact with the probation service before her son's death, but said they did not tell her of her then partner's violent history, or ask if she had any children.

She said the case workers laughed and joked with Iheanacho on the phone, adding: "I could see how lenient they were with him and I never thought there were any serious problems."

Image copyright Met Police
Image caption Marvyn Iheanacho was jailed for a minimum of 21 years

Iheanacho was convicted of Alex's murder in 2017 and jailed for life with a minimum of 18 years, which was later increased to a minimum of 21.

Ms Breha told the court Iheanacho's family and friends also did not share his history with her.

"Obviously, when I met his family, none of them ever mentioned he was a danger to kids.

"Also I met his friends who had kids, he was around many kids.

"I never, ever had any concerns that he could harm anyone."

Ms Breha also paid tribute to her "beautiful" boy at Monday's hearing.

In a statement read out by chief coroner Andrew Harris, the jury heard: "There is no tragedy in life like the death of a child.

"He was my world and I am so angry someone took this away from me."

The inquest continues.

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