A 23-year-old mother and her boyfriend, who killed her three-year-old daughter after the toddler interrupted the couple having sex, have been sentenced to more than 10 years in jail.
Nicola Priest, who lives in the UK, was found guilty of manslaughter and imprisoned for 15 years after her daughter, Kaylee-Jayde, was found dead in their home last year.
Priest’s ex-boyfriend Callum Redfern, 22, was sentenced to 14 years.
According to a judge, the pair lost their tempers and severely beat the three-year-old, resulting in her death.
“The injuries were consistent with someone having punched, kicked or even stamped multiple times on the girl,” the West Midlands Police said in a Facebook post, including video of the last time she was seen alive.
“One of the broken ribs punctured a lung. She was found dead at 11am the next morning when (then) 22-year-old Priest emerged from bed to check on her daughter.
“If Kaylee-Jayde had received swift medical help following the assault the likelihood is she would have survived.”
According to the police, Priest was “addicted to social media”, and messaged her friends and Redfern instead of seeking medical attention for her daughter.
“Pathology tests on the girl’s body also revealed other partially-healed fractures to her sternum, ribs and jaw, which showed it was not the first time she’d been subjected to serious violence,” police said.
“None of the injuries had been reported to a doctor or been medically treated and neither Priest nor Redfern were able to explain how these injuries occurred.”
Police said messages uncovered between the pair during the investigation discussed physical punishments given to the toddler.
Residents noticed Kaylee-Jayde regularly crying
Neighbours recalled hearing the toddler crying, which was often covered by music.
According to the BBC, a text message exchange was also shown from July 24, 2020, just days before Kaylee’s death, with Priest telling Redfern: “I’m gonna kill her… because she keeps leaving the living room or going in the kitchen, so I’ve paled (hit) her one and smacked her for sh**ting in her nappy.”
Redfern said: “Good – give her one from me.”
Priest replied: “I will, babe.”
Experts likened her injuries to being ‘hit by a car’
Mr Justice Foxton QC said Kaylee-Jayde had been put to bed about 7pm, but, “like many children her age”, did not want to go to bed, the BBC reported.
Although he said there was no direct evidence as to what happened, the three-year-old vomited repeatedly as a result of the beating, dying of her injuries overnight.
“No doubt irritated by Kaylee crying, asking to be let out, it interrupted the two of you when you wanted to have sex,” he said.
Mr Justice Foxton QC said the pair became angry and assaulted the toddler, which “cost Kaylee her life”.
Experts said her injuries were similar to a child being hit by a car at 64km/h, or from falling three storeys onto a concrete floor.
The pair blamed each other for Kaylee’s death during the trial, but senior investigating officer Det Insp Adam Jobson from the West Midlands Police homicide unit identified Redfern as the ‘dominant partner’.
During Redfern’s interview with police interview, he said Kaylee-Jayde’s death had not affected him.
Priest was also found guilty of cruelty to a child, due to the three-year-old’s past injuries, though Redfern was cleared of that charge.
Priest and Redfern must serve two-thirds of their jail terms before they can be considered for release.