Kemarni Watson Darby murder trial: 'Cable used to lock toddler in room', court hears

A man accused of killing his girlfriend's three-year-old son locked the boy in a room and used snapped electrical cables to force the door shut, a murder trial has heard.

Alicia Watson's boyfriend, Nathaniel Pope, allegedly locked Kemarni Watson Darby in a bedroom at the couple's flat until the child "calmed down". He would use an electrical wire snapped in half to stop the door from opening as Kemarni banged on it to be let out, Birmingham Crown Court heard.

Kemarni was found "lifeless" at his home on Beacon View Road in West Bromwich, West Midlands, on June 5, 2018.

Prosecutors allege he died after a "vicious, forceful assault" which split his abdomen and caused a "massive" internal bleed.

Watson and Pope are accused of subjecting the toddler to repeated "extremely painful" assaults in the months before his death.

The murder trial is taking place at Birmingham Crown Court Credit: BPM Media

Watson, 30, of Raglan Road in Handsworth, Birmingham, and Pope, 31, of Evans Street, Wolverhampton, both deny murder and multiple child cruelty charges.

A witness - who cannot be named for legal reasons - claimed Mr Pope would lock the youngster in a room "a lot but never really beat him".

In an interview played to jurors, the witness said: "Pope used to get the wire and turn it around the door handle.

"It was like some electrical wire that was snapped off. He would wrap it around the door handle.

"Kemarni would just bang on the door and try and get out. [Pope] would just do nothing."Jurors in the murder trial heard how Watson would allegedly beat Kemarni ‘really hard’ when he misbehaved.

Kemarni would be left feeling "really upset" after the assaults and would just stay in his cot, the witness claimed.

The witness went on to say Watson would not kick or punch her son but would only slap him.

They said: "Kemarni was naughty. He always threw toys at people and swore because he got angry at people for some reason."

They added: "Kemarni did a lot of naughty things.

"He used to always slam the doors. He used to take off his nappy and run. He used to openthe door when Watson was on the toilet.

"She got angry and kept on having to clean the carpet because he weed and pooed. She would beat him up really hard."Watson would never slap Kemarni on his face or arms, the witness added.They said: "She always had that angry face. She did not punch or kick, it was mostly slapping."

Kemarni was left with a "plethora of severe injuries" including multiple fractures to his rib cage, as well as wounds to his liver and colon.Bruising was uncovered on his lungs, head, mouth, neck, arms, chest, abdomen, back and legs, prosecutors previously said.

The "catalogue" of injuries also included scars to the eyes, cheeks, knees and limbs.The trial continues.