Mother and brutal boyfriend who shook two-year-old to death are jailed
Mother and her brutal boyfriend who shook two-year-old Maya Chappell to death are jailed – as court hears tiny tot was left in her killer’s care despite fears for her safety being repeatedly raised and ignored
- Maya suffered frequent assaults from her mother’s boyfriend Michael Daymond
- Daymond was today convicted of child cruelty and the murder of the youngster
- Maya’s mother Dana Carr was jailed for child cruelty and for allowing her death
A brutal boyfriend was today jailed for a minimum of 20 years for shaking to death an innocent toddler, left in his care despite fears for her safety being repeatedly raised and ignored.
Maya Chappell, two, suffered frequent assaults at the hands of her mother’s new boyfriend Michael Daymond, 27, leaving bruises all over her body until the day he murdered her while in a bad mood over losing his benefits.
Her mother Dana Carr, 24, was jailed for nine years at Teesside Crown Court for child cruelty and allowing the death of her daughter. She had denied the offences but was found guilty by a jury in November.
Daymond was convicted of child cruelty and murder, for which he was given a mandatory life sentence. He must serve 20 years before being considered for parole.
The vulnerable youngster should never have been left in his sole care, but Carr was so ‘infatuated’ with Daymond she ignored warnings about the abuse he was cruelly inflicting and even covered it up to protect him.
Maya Chappell, two, suffered frequent assaults at the hands of her mother’s new boyfriend Michael Daymond, 27
Michael Daymond has today been jailed for a minimum of 20 years at Teesside Crown Court after shaking the two-year-old to death
Maya’s mother Dana Carr, 24, was also jailed for nine years for child cruelty and allowing the death of her daughter
The case involved a disturbing series of missed chances to save Maya from such a terrible end – with Carr turning a blind eye to family worries about the child’s mistreatment.
READ MORE: Damning texts between tiny Maya Chappell’s killer and her mother including chilling moment he declared ‘She has another bruise coming through’
The girl’s father James Chappell, 25, was so concerned about the evidence of mistreatment before his eyes that he raised the alarm to Carr and even made a ‘Sarah’s Law’ inquiry to police to discover if Daymond had a history of abusive behaviour towards children, Teesside Crown Court heard.
Carr refused to disclose any details to police about her muscular new lover, and although he had no criminal history that would have triggered police intervention, her decision to side with Daymond effectively condemned little Maya to death.
After today’s hearing Detective Superintendent Chris Barker, of Durham Police, said: ‘Maya was killed, we don’t why or what caused Daymond to carry out such an appalling crime – but he did.
‘Sadly, nothing can change his unforgiveable actions but at least he, together with Carr, is now facing the consequences of Maya’s tragic death.
‘Maya was a defenceless two-year-old girl who should have been able to trust Daymond – instead she lived in fear, and she couldn’t even rely on her own mother to help her.
‘My heart goes out to those who truly cared about Maya. Today’s sentencing won’t bring her back but hopefully it will provide some closure and allow them to grieve.’
Mr Chappell’s concerns about his daughter living under the care of such a man were well founded.
Maya should never have been left in Daymond’s sole care, but Carr was so ‘infatuated’ with him she ignored warnings about the abuse he was cruelly inflicting
When police officers arrived at Maya’s home she appeared lifeless on the bedroom floor. She was flown to hospital by air ambulance in a critical condition and died two days later when life support was switched off
Carr’s (pictured) decision to side with Daymond effectively condemned little Maya to death
Dana Carr seen attending Teesside Crown Court last month
The judge said that messages on Carr’s phone ‘could only have been sent by someone who knew Maya was being hurt by Daymond’
A self-confessed user of steroids, Daymond was a womaniser and had also been chased for ‘drugs debts.’
Mr Chappell had been in a relationship with Carr, a care coordinator, for four years when Maya was born.
Giving evidence she described him as a ‘brilliant dad’ but said their relationship was ‘awful’ and they split.
Carr had been single for a while when she met Daymond in July last year through doing work at a friend’s pub. He regularly delivered gas bottles to the premises.
She fell head over heels, describing Daymond as ‘lovely and caring’, but nine weeks after they got together Daymond killed Maya.
The youngster, who was terrified of the bully and was filmed trying to crawl under the family TV to get away from him, had been left alone with Daymond at their home in Shotton Colliery, County Durham, when Carr went to work on September 28 last year.
That day Daymond had learned his Universal Credit had been stopped. He repeatedly tried to call the Department of Work and Pensions and went on its website.
At 3.37pm he phoned Carr to tell her to come home and seconds later dialled 999.
When police officers arrived ten minutes later Maya appeared lifeless on the bedroom floor.
Daymond even called the DWP again when paramedics were fighting to save Maya’s life. However, her injuries were unsurvivable.
Maya was terrified of bully Daymond and was filmed trying to crawl under the family TV to get away from him
Maya’s father James Chappell, 25, was so concerned about the evidence of mistreatment before his eyes that he raised the alarm to Carr and even made a ‘Sarah’s Law’ inquiry to police
Text messages between Dana Carr and her ex-partner James Chappell
Text messages sent by Dana Carr to Michael Daymond on the day that Maya died
She was flown to hospital by air ambulance in a critical condition and died two days later when life support was switched off.
Daymond claimed Maya must have fallen out of bed but the scientific evidence showed she was killed.
A post mortem revealed the toddler died after being ‘subjected to a blunt force assault likely comprising shaking plus or minus a blunt force impact to the head and forceful blows to her abdomen.’
There were also around 50 bruises and marks on her body.
The court heard Daymond, who did not give evidence at the trial, inflicted the injuries on Maya over several weeks when he was alone with her.
He would message Carr while she was at work with a series of lies to cover up his horrific behaviour.
Despite being alerted to the situation, Carr did nothing to stop her daughter getting hurt, instead frequently telling Daymond she loved him and would not leave him when he sought reassurance.
Judge Mr Justice Bright labelled Carr a ‘prodigious’ liar and told Daymond: ‘This was a murder of a young child, she was particularly vulnerable because of her age. She had been left in your case and you abused that trust.’
Turning to Carr he said: ‘You lied to James Chappell, your stepfather, the nursery and your former employer.
‘There were numerous messages on your phone that could only have been sent by someone who knew Maya was being hurt by Daymond.’
A horse drawn carriage takes Maya’s coffin to her final resting place during the two-year-old’s funeral
Four men carry the pink coffin of two-year-old Maya Louise Chappell during her funeral
Floral tributes were left at the scene in Shotton Colliery, County Durham, where two-year-old Maya was fatally injured
Police at the scene in Shotton Colliery after responding to reports of Maya’s death
She added: You took no steps to protect Maya.’
The court heard how Carr had given birth to another child after falling pregnant whilst awaiting trial.
Nicholas Lumley KC, defending Daymond, said there is nothing that can be said that can address the pain the family is feeling.
He added: ‘There were no sadistic motivations here. There was no substantial degree of premeditation or planning.’
Toby Hedworth KC, representing Carr, told the judge that his client now saw Daymond’s behaviour for what it was after watching him during the trial.
He said: ‘This offending was as a result of her being blinded to what was going on, at the time, by the conduct of Daymond and the reassurances that he was giving her.’
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