'We'll miss her forever': Family's emotional tribute to Lola James, 2, as 'Jekyll and Hyde' boyfriend guilty of murder

4 April 2023, 14:31 | Updated: 4 April 2023, 16:12

Kyle Bevan attacked young Lola James at her home in Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, and delayed a call to emergency services for over an hour following his physical outburst.
Kyle Bevan attacked young Lola James at her home in Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, and delayed a call to emergency services for over an hour following his physical outburst. Picture: LBC / Alamy / PA

By Danielle DeWolfe

A boyfriend with a "Jekyll and Hyde" temper has today been found guilty of the murder of his partner's 2-year-old girl in what police describe as a "frenzied and extremely violent" attack.

Kyle Bevan attacked Lola James at her home in Haverfordwest, Wales, and delayed a call to emergency services for over an hour following the physical assault.

A court had previously heard how Lola received a "catastrophic" brain injury during the attack on 17 July 2021 - one of 101 injuries described as so severe, they were likened to those of a car crash victim.

A jury at Swansea Crown Court today convicted the 31-year-old of murder.

Lola's mother, Sinead James, denied causing or allowing her death but was also found guilty.

Lola James's biological father, Daniel Thomas, said in statement released by Dyfed-Powys Police: "The pain and grief I feel every time I close my eyes and see your perfect little face is unbearable.

"Even to say your name shatters my heart to know you can't hear my voice anymore, the only reason I can stand here today is for hope that you can see me, see that you were loved and that you deserved to live a full, happy, safe life surrounded by the joy that you gave to others.

Kyle Bevan attacked young Lola James at her home in Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, and delayed a call to emergency services for over an hour following his physical outburst.
Kyle Bevan attacked young Lola James at her home in Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, and delayed a call to emergency services for over an hour following his physical outburst. Picture: Alamy

He added: "I'm so sorry your short life was filled with so much pain. You are so loved Lola and so missed every single day. A great team with much passion has worked together for this day since you've left us."

Lola died in hospital four days after suffering extensive injuries during the early hours of July 17, 2020.

The injuries were deemed to have been caused by "blunt force trauma, punching or slapping, shaking, or a combination of both" the investigation concluded.

A jury accepted James' defence that she was asleep at the time her partner carried out the deadly assault.

Speaking following the verdict, Lola's maternal grandmother, Nicola James, thanked police, adding: "We will be forever grateful for the support we have received...

"She (Lola) will forever be our diamond up in the sky, we will never ever forget her, and we will continue to keep her memory alive.

"We write her letters, and we talk to her in the sky at night."

Kyle Bevan attacked young Lola James at her home in Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, and delayed a call to emergency services for over an hour following his physical outburst.
Kyle Bevan attacked young Lola James at her home in Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, and delayed a call to emergency services for over an hour following his physical outburst. Picture: Facebook

"As a family we will never get over this, the loss that we feel is indescribable. We haven't begun to process all of this, and don't know how we ever will.

"Lola we love you, we will always love you, and we will miss you forever."

Bevan, from Aberystwyth, had initially argued that Lola fell down the stairs after the family's American bulldog pushed her - claims the court rejected.

Senior investigating officer Detective Chief Inspector Gareth Roberts said of the verdict: "Lola died on July 21, 2020, as a result of horrendous injuries which were inflicted by Kyle Bevan in what must have been a frenzied and extremely violent attack on a helpless two-year-old child.

"Bevan delayed raising the alarm and seeking medical attention for at least an hour after he inflicted the fatal injuries and in the time since he has shown no remorse, emotion or any care for Lola.

"Consumed by his own self-preservation, Bevan lied and fabricated an accidental stair fall to try and cover his tracks but, with the help of medical experts, we have been able to prove that his actions were deliberate, abhorrent and evil.

"Lola should have been able to rely on her own mother to keep her safe from harm and physical risk. However, Sinead James seriously failed in her duty towards her daughter.

The pair will be sentenced on April 25.

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