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Family of murdered three-year-old say justice has been done

Lylah Aaron Photo: South Yorkshire Police

The uncle of murdered three-year-old girl, Lylah Aaron, has said that justice has been done after former DJ Delroy Catwell was sentenced to life today at Sheffield Crown Court.

Catwell was convicted yesterday of the crime and today ordered to serve a minimum term of 20 years in jail.

Afterwards Keith Chibanda, the older brother of Lylah’s mum and who lives in Sheffield, said:

We would like to thank the police and other professionals for their diligent work on this case.

Justice for our baby girl has been done in the system we are living in.

We will continue to grieve for little Lylah in private and we will miss her dearly. She will never be forgotten by her family and friends. Our love for her remains forever.

– Keith Chibanda, Lylah's uncle

Catwell should have been caring for Lylah while her mum, student nurse Precious Chibanda, was at work.

Instead the 31-year-old inflicted fatal injuries on the little girl, said to be outgoing and bubbly, on 8 February, at their home in Shiregreen, Sheffield .

When Precious returned sometime between 4pm and 4.30pm she went to check on Lylah, who was in bed and appeared to be sleeping. She left her to rest.

She checked a second time and her daughter still seemed to be sleeping, as her then boyfriend Catwell had described.

Then about an hour later, Precious was going to look in on Lylah again but was persuaded by Catwell – himself a parent – to leave her a little longer.

Just before 6pm, a horrified Precious found Lylah unresponsive and immediately rang the emergency services.

When paramedics arrived, the youngster was barely breathing. They treated her on the way to the Children’s Hospital, where she was put on a life support machine. Catwell travelled in the ambulance alongside Precious.

Once at hospital, doctors found that Lylah had life-threatening injuries and at 12.22am on Saturday, 9 February, she died there in her mother’s arms.

A post mortem examination revealed that Lylah had died from significant head injuries. Results showed severe head trauma and three rib fractures. It also uncovered an old fractured rib injury.

Medical experts said these injuries were typically non-accidental and had been caused by significant force.

Judge, The Honourable Mrs Justice Nicola Davies, described South Yorkshire Police’s investigation as “extremely thorough” and commented on the dignity that Lylah’s family had shown throughout the trial, which lasted for more than a fortnight