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  1. ITV Report

Partner jailed for life after beating two-year-old boy to death

Joseph Eke, 22, was convicted of murdering Harry House. Credit: PA

A mum says she is heartbroken over the death of her two-year-old son who was murdered by her ex-partner.

Joseph Eke, 22, was jailed for a minimum of 18 years having inflicting "catastrophic" injuries on Harry House after he "lost his temper".

Eke carried out the attack on May 26 last year while left alone for a few minutes with the boy at the family home in Broadmayne, Dorset, while Harry's mother popped to the shops.

Lauren O'Neill said her son's death had left the family "heartbroken" - and that Eke had "ruined so many people's lives".

He showed no emotion on Monday when being sentenced, having been convicted of murder following a three-week trial at Winchester Crown Court.

Eke seen on CCTV assaulting Lauren O'Neill, in July 2016. Credit: PA

Jurors heard that Harry died from injuries to his abdomen and skull, probably caused by punching or kicking.

Miss O'Neill, 22, told the trial how her son went "all floppy" in her arms before he deteriorated rapidly and died as paramedics tried to save his life.

The court also heard that Eke assaulted Miss O'Neill in July last year, including slapping her with a Subway sandwich, after she "took a swipe" at him after he accused her of killing Harry.

Sentencing him, the judge told Eke: "You wilfully, fatally, failed Harry when you assaulted him, taking his life."

Mrs Justice May added that Miss O'Neill had been "in denial" about the abuse carried out by Eke in the last days of Harry's life which had left him covered in bruises and suffering from broken ribs.

She said: "No-one will ever know the full extent of your mistreatment of Harry."

Eke being interview by police. Credit: PA

Following the sentence, Harry's family said in a statement: "This past year has been the most horrific time for our family, but we have at least now got justice for our darling Harry, although it is bittersweet that we have lost him forever.

"We are grateful that no other child and their family will have to go through what we have because of the actions of Eke and are at least thankful he is where he should be and for a very long time."