Beds, Herts & Bucks

Kevin Eves guilty of murdering eight-week-old daughter

Kevin Eves Image copyright Bedfordshire Police
Image caption Kevin Eves was jailed for nine years in 2006 for assaulting a toddler

A dad with a history of violence has been found guilty of murdering his eight-week-old daughter.

Kevin Eves smothered Harper Denton and left her with 34 rib fractures and a fractured skull in June 2018, the Old Bailey heard.

The 37-year-old was jailed for nine years in 2006 for causing grievous bodily harm with intent and wilfully assaulting a toddler.

Eves, of Wixams, near Bedford, will be sentenced on Wednesday.

He told the court he awoke to find Harper was purple and cold to the touch, claiming her injuries were caused by his attempts to resuscitate her.

However, jurors heard the fractures were inflicted during at least three separate assaults in the weeks before Harper's death.

Prosecutor Sally Howes QC said Harper's injuries "tell the tale of a totally dependent, vulnerable, helpless baby girl who was subjected to a catalogue of escalating violence which only came to an end with her untimely death".

'Shocking injuries'

Twelve years earlier, Eves - then known as Forbes - seriously injured a child in his care.

The boy suffered life-threatening head injuries and fractures to his elbow.

Eves claimed the child had fallen from a washing machine but a court heard his injuries were consistent with him being "swung forcefully by the arms" so his head hit the floor or a wall.

A dent was found in a wall of the property, with two strands of the child's hair embedded in it.

Ms Howes said the assault was "so similar" to the incident which killed Harper.

"It demonstrates a clear and definite propensity to commit life-threatening and fatal assaults upon very young children when left in his sole charge," she said.

Image copyright South Beds News Agency
Image caption Eves said he was upfront about his previous conviction to Harper's mother

Peter Burt, from the CPS, said the extent of Harper's injuries was "shocking".

"Baby Harper's life was cruelly cut short by someone she was totally dependent on," he said.

"It's deeply upsetting to know the distress and pain she would have experienced each time her father inflicted these injuries on her."

The prosecution said Harper's mother, Cherinea Denton, was aware Eves had a previous conviction from 2006 but believed his account that it was for his part in a fight at a house party.

Eves, of Nightingale Court, said he told Ms Denton he was jailed for injuring a child and she "wasn't fazed".

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