Teenager guilty of killing lover's three-year-old son
- 30 October 2012
- From the section London
A teenager has been found guilty of killing the three-year-old son of a woman he was having an affair with.
Rhys Lawrie, from Erith, who suffered from epilepsy, died from a head injury in January last year after he was left alone at his home with Cameron Rose.
Rose, from Eltham, south-east London, was found guilty of manslaughter and assault causing actual bodily harm.
Rose, 18, who was cleared of murder at the Old Bailey, will be sentenced on 29 November.
The killer, who was 16 at the time of Rhys's death, was attending a school for emotionally disturbed youngsters when he began an affair in November 2010 with the child's mother, Sadie Henry, now 28, the court heard.
The child had a head injury, bruising to his face, ears, body, both legs and his right leg was broken.
Not a 'toyboy'
He suffered the injuries four days before his death and on the day he died he was left in the care of the teenager as Miss Henry, an Army medic, was out with another son.
The jury heard the mother had tried to hide the relationship from paramedics and police and later continued to meet her schoolboy lover in secret until September 2011.
She also had sex with him after the child's death.
She told the jury: "I felt guilty because my three-year-old son died and the person I cared about saw him die.
"I thought he died from natural causes. I thought I should have been there."
But she denied being obsessed with Rose, who had wanted to break off the relationship a month before the child's death.
She said: "I was attracted to him. I didn't see the consequences.
"I was not obsessed. I cared about him. At the time I thought the feeling was mutual.
"Now that I look back, I do see myself as irresponsible but it was not as sordid as it was made out to be."
Miss Henry was cautioned by police for trying to hide the relationship.
Rose claimed his elbow had accidentally hit the child in the face while in bed and the three-year-old had fallen off a kitchen counter.