Mother and boyfriend jailed for killing daughter, 3, who interrupted sex

6 August 2021, 18:20 | Updated: 6 August 2021, 18:57

Kaylee-Jayde was three and a half years old when she was killed last year
Kaylee-Jayde was three and a half years old when she was killed last year. Picture: West Midlands Police

By Daisy Stephens

An "uncaring" mother and her boyfriend have been jailed for killing her three-year-old daughter after the girl's cries interrupted sex.

Kaylee-Jayde Priest was found dead at the flat where she lived with her mother, Nicola Priest, on August 9 last year, days after Priest sent a text threatening to kill her daughter.

Jailing Priest at Birmingham Crown Court on Friday for 15 years for her daughter's manslaughter, the sentencing judge described how Kaylee's injuries had been inflicted in a "ferocious" assault.

Read more: 'Uncaring' mum and boyfriend found guilty of killing Kaylee-Jayde Priest, 3

Experts likened her wounds to those of a child hit by a car at 40mph, or from falling three storeys on to a concrete floor.

The child's mother rang 999 but a jury convicted Priest after hearing the youngster had been "dead before the call was made".

Priest's then boyfriend, Callum Redfern, was also convicted of manslaughter and jailed for 14 years.

Priest, of Poplar Avenue, Edgbaston, Birmingham, and Redfern, of Temple Street, Dudley, West Midlands, were cleared of a separate charge of murder.

Redfern and Priest were both convicted of Kaylee-Jayde's killing
Redfern and Priest were both convicted of Kaylee-Jayde's killing. Picture: West Midlands Police

The youngster, described in court as a "lively and happy child", died from serious chest and abdominal injuries inflicted at Priest's flat in Solihull.

Medical examinations later showed Kaylee had also suffered historical injuries including broken ribs, lower leg fractures and a broken sternum.

Her mother, who had no previous convictions and whom experts found had "a very low level of intelligence", was also found guilty of cruelty to a child, relating to the youngster's previous injuries, though Redfern was cleared of that charge.

At their trial, "infatuated" Priest, 23, and her 22-year-old lover Redfern, who the judge said was the "dominant" partner in the relationship, each blamed the other.

Jailing the pair on Friday, Mr Justice Foxton QC said: "Kaylee was put to bed some time around 7pm, while the two of you went to have sex in Nicola Priest's bedroom.

"But like many children her age, Kaylee did not want to go to bed, but to stay up and play."

He said there was no direct evidence as to what happened next, but that Kaylee subsequently vomited repeatedly, later dying of her injuries overnight.

The judge said: "The vomiting was the result of the severe beating you were both responsible for inflicting on her.

"No doubt irritated by Kaylee crying, asking to be let out, it interrupted the two of you when you wanted to have sex.

"You lost your tempers and were parties to the assault which cost Kaylee her life.

"A prompt call for medical assistance by one or the other of you would have saved Kaylee's life."

The judge also told Redfern, who had previous convictions including for cannabis possession: "You and Nicola Priest shared an uncaring and cruel attitude to Kaylee."

In his police interview, asked how Kaylee's death had affected him, Redfern replied: "It's not my child... it's not really affected me."

Kaylee-Jayde was described in court as a "lively and happy child"
Kaylee-Jayde was described in court as a "lively and happy child". Picture: West Midlands Police

Priest, wearing a yellow sweater, wept, placing her wrist to her face, as she was jailed. Redfern, in a grey T-shirt and wearing a mask, showed no emotion.

Jurors had heard how Priest would hit Kaylee around the head and refer to her as a "f****** brat".

In a text message exchange on July 24 2020, days before Kaylee's death, Priest told 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 shitting in her nappy."

Redfern said: "Good - give her one from me."

Priest replied: "I will, babe."

In CCTV played to court, Kaylee and her mother were seen together for the last time in footage recorded hours before she was fatally injured, with the video showing Priest's total disinterest in her daughter.

In a victim impact statement by Kaylee's maternal grandmother Debbie Windmill, read out by the Crown's QC Andrew Smith, she said: "I want the whole world to know and understand you were truly loved and will be forever missed."

Priest, who was also jailed for three years to be served concurrently for the child cruelty offence, and Redfern must both serve two-thirds of their jail terms before they can be considered for release.