A teenager who killed his girlfriend's disabled child was jailed for five years today.
Cameron Rose was just 16, when he assaulted and ultimately killed three-year-old Rhys Lawrie while looking after him two years ago.
Rhys, who suffered from Dravets Syndrome - a severe form of epilepsy - which caused fits and affected his mobility, was rushed to hospital on January 21, 2011, after his mother called 999 to report her son had collapsed and was not breathing. Paramedics attending to the child noticed extensive bruising to his face and his eye.
A post mortem examination at Great Ormond Street Hospital on January 25, 2011 concluded the cause of death to be a significant impact head injury received just prior to death.
Also noted were 39 other injuries including a broken right leg and subdural haemorrhage around the optic nerve. Rhys’ ears were also severely bruised indicating that he may have been lifted this way.
Detectives from the Met’s Child Abuse Investigation Command launched an enquiry into his death which established that Rhys, whose speech development was also delayed and therefore he was unable to speak, was probably assaulted on or around January 17, 2011 and on the day of his death.
On both of these dates he had been left alone in the care of Cameron Rose.
As a result of the post mortem and inconsistent accounts given for Rhys’ injuries, officers arrested and interviewed his mother on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm on January 26, 2011.
During interview she admitted she had left Rhys in the care of Cameron Rose.
Rose was arrested on the same day and denied hurting Rhys.
The couple were released on bail and later re-arrested on suspicion of murder in September 2011.
In February this year Rhys’ mother was cautioned for perverting the course of justice. Cameron Rose was charged with murder.
He was sentenced at the Old Bailey to four-and-a-half years imprisonment for manslaughter and six months imprisonment for ABH, to run consecutively.
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