Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Delroy Catwell given life for Lylah Aaron murder

Lylah Aaron
Image caption Lylah Aaron was described as "bubbly and outgoing"

A man who murdered his girlfriend's young daughter when he was supposed to be looking after her has been ordered to serve at least 20 years in jail.

Delroy Catwell was alone with Lylah Aaron, three, at their Sheffield home when he beat her, at one stage smashing her head against a bedroom wall.

Catwell, 31, was found guilty of murder at Sheffield Crown Court on Tuesday.

Jailing him for life, Mrs Justice Nicola Davies said it was "difficult to conceive of a greater abuse of trust".

'Wholly defenceless'

She told the DJ at Wednesday's sentencing hearing: "The injuries sustained by Lylah on the 8th of February to her head, ribs and abdomen would have required considerable force.

Image caption Delroy Catwell was told he will serve at least 20 years by a judge at Sheffield Crown Court

"This slight child would have been wholly defenceless in the face of such a sustained assault.

"Compounding your actions, you allowed Lylah, who would have drifted into an unconscious state, to remain at home.

"You made no attempt to call for medical aid. For a matter of hours you knew that within the house was a badly injured young girl for whom you were responsible."

During the two-week trial, the jury heard Catwell, Lylah and her mother Precious Chibanda shared a house in Beck Road in Shiregreen, Sheffield.

On 8 February, Catwell was left in charge of Lylah as her mother went to work.

The court heard Ms Chibanda returned to find her daughter in bed and only later realised she was unconscious.

She had suffered head injuries and died later in hospital.

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