Mother and partner convicted for the death of Kaylee-Jayde Priest
The mother of a three-year-old girl who died after suffering severe injuries has been convicted of her manslaughter along with her partner.
Nicola Priest, 22, of Kingshurst, Solihull and Callum Redfern, also 22 of Temple Street, Dudley, were convicted of the manslaughter of Kaylee-Jayde Priest today (5 August 2021) following a trial at Birmingham Crown Court. Priest was also found guilty of an offence of child cruelty which had occurred some time before Kaylee- Jayde’s death.
On 9 August 2020, Nicola Priest called an ambulance for her daughter. However, Kaylee-Jayde was already dead when the ambulance arrived, having suffered severe injuries, including a torn intestine, fractured rib and deflated lung.
The prosecution case is that on 8 August 2020, Kaylee-Jayde sustained a serious assault when both the defendants were alone with her, and she died due to severe injuries to her chest and abdomen.
The court heard that Kaylee was fine when Redfern attended her home and by the time he left, she had vomited, requiring her bedding to be changed. A witness testified that both defendants were alone with Kaylee for some time and neither defendant has offered any realistic explanation for the fatal injuries she sustained.
Proving the case
CCTV footage, witness testimonies and reports from several medical experts played a crucial role in proving the case.
Subsequent investigations discovered that Kaylee-Jayde had sustained other serious injuries in the weeks and days before her death, including broken ribs, a fractured sternum and fractures to her lower legs that could only have been caused while she was in the care of the defendants.
The post mortem carried out after Kaylee's death revealed a total of 68 injuries, and although most were caused around the time of death, some dated back to two months before her death.
On Friday, 7 August 2020, CCTV cameras recorded Nicola Priest and Kaylee leaving their home to visit a local shop. During the footage, Priest ignored Kaylee and did not even hold her hand. When they returned, Kaylee appeared well on CCTV, walking, talking, and moving as usual, including using her hand on the lift button, proving her wrist was fractured after returning to her home.
Wendy Bounds of the CPS said: "The life of Kaylee-Jayde Priest was cruelly cut short by a violent assault which took place at her home at the hands of Callum Redfern and Nicola Priest. As a young child, Kaylee should have been able to rely on her mother to care for and protect her from harm and for her home to be a place of safety and security. However, she died in her home due to what an expert witness called a horrific assault producing the type of injuries usually seen as the result of a high speed car crash.
"Only those responsible know what happened that night. The biggest tragedy is that there was expert medical evidence that Kaylee’s life might have been saved by immediate emergency medical attention, but the 999 call was not made until the following morning when she was already dead. My thoughts are with the family at what must be a difficult time for them."
Priest and Redfern will be sentenced tomorrow (6 August 2021).
Notes to editors
- Wendy Bounds is a Senior Crown Prosecutor at CPS West Midlands
- Both defendants were charged with murder. They were convicted of manslaughter after trial.