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‘Uncaring’ mum who killed tot with boyfriend in sick attack jailed for 15 years

An “uncaring” mother who killed her three-year-old daughter after a torrent of abuse has been jailed for 15 years.

Kaylee-Jayde Priest was tragically found dead in a flat, where she lived with her mum Nicola Priest, in August 2020.

The Crown Court in Birmingham heard how 23-year-old Priest called her daughter a ‘little b****’ and a ‘rat’, and days before the incident had threatened to kill the tot.

The Mirror reports that Priest had also sent her boyfriend Callum Redfern, 22, a text stating that she had smacked the youngster for ‘sh***ing in her nappy’.

Redfern was today imprisoned for 14 years for his part in the toddler’s death.

The youngster’s grandmother contacted social services with concerns about her

Priest was given 15 years for manslaughter and a concurrent term of three years for a child cruelty charge.

Jurors broke down in tears as they heard of the 68 injuries pathologists found on little Kaylee’s body, including broken ribs, lower leg fractures and a broken sternum.

The injuries were inflicted on August 8 last year while Redfern visited Priest with a friend.

He left the property that evening and when Priest checked on her daughter in the morning she found her ‘stiff’ and not moving.

Experts told Birmingham Crown Court that the tot likely died around midnight but could have been saved if she received immediate medical attention.

She died from serious chest and abdominal injuries after a ‘ferocious assault’ at her home in Solihull, where the tot lived in a bedroom without a lightbulb, curtains and a proper carpet.

By the time the mum rang 999, Kaylee had already been dead for several hours.

Nicola Priest was found guilty of manslaughter after the death of her daughter
Nicola Priest was found guilty of manslaughter after the death of her daughter

Priest's boyfriend Callum Redfern was also found guilty of manslaughter
Priest’s boyfriend Callum Redfern was also found guilty of manslaughter

Medical examinations later showed she had also suffered historical injuries including broken ribs, lower leg fractures and a broken sternum, the court heard.

Priest and Redfern, who were in a ‘close sexual relationship’, blamed each other for her death.

Both were convicted of manslaughter on Thursday, although they were cleared of murder.

Priest, who was seen ignoring her daughter on CCTV just hours before the killing, was also found guilty of cruelty to a child, while Redfern was cleared of the same charge.

Jurors had heard how Priest would hit Kaylee around the head and refer to her as a “f****** brat”, while the youngster was also heard crying “in a fearful tone”.

CCTV images of Priest with her daughter just hours before she killed her
CCTV images of Priest with her daughter just hours before she killed her

On one occasion, neighbours in a flat below at Kingshurst House, Solihull, recalled hearing a bang above and then Kaylee crying, before allegedly hearing Priest say: “I’ll just say she fell off the bed.”

The same residents claimed they noticed that “when Kaylee cried, the response appeared to be to drown out her crying with music”.

In a text message exchange on July 24 2020, days before Kaylee’s death, Priest told Redfern: “I’m gonna kill her… because she keeps leaving the living room or going in the kitchen, so I’ve paled (hit) her one and smacked her for shitting in her nappy.”

Redfern wrote back: “Good – give her one from me.”

Priest replied: “I will, babe.”

Three days later, Redfern sent a message to Priest saying: “I’m going to keep the little brat away from me… sick of your spunking daughter.”

From the time Priest moved in to the flat in mid-2019, neighbours heard her “shouting with real regularity” at Kaylee, including comments like “Shut up”, “Go away” or “Leave me alone” – and “never anything positive or kind”.

In CCTV played to court, Kaylee-Jayde and her mother were seen together, just hours before the youngster’s fatal collapse, using a lift at the block of flats where they lived.

The footage showed Priest’s total disinterest in her daughter; repeatedly checking her reflection in the mirror and scrolling through her phone, while the youngster periodically gazed up at her mother’s face.

The mum did not even hold her daughter's hand as they walked into the lift and left their apartment building
The mum did not even hold her daughter’s hand as they walked into the lift and left their apartment building

At no point in the footage was there any physical contact between the pair, with Priest neglecting even to reach out to hold her daughter’s hand.

Andrew Smith QC, prosecuting, told Friday’s hearing there was a “history of violence” towards Kaylee, who went through “significant mental and suffering”.

He said: “This was a sustained assault with repeated blows being landed to what are vulnerable parts of a young child’s body.

“It is the cumulative effect and repetition of blows.

Kaylee called her daughter a 'rat' and a 'little b****'
Kaylee called her daughter a ‘rat’ and a ‘little b****’

“With respect to child cruelty, Priest can properly be sentenced as the person who caused the earlier injuries to Kaylee.

“Kaylee was the subject of prolonged and multiple incidents of cruelty, involving very significant force.

“There must have been a deliberate disregard for the welfare of the victim.”

It has now emerged that Priest’s own mother Debbie Windmill previously reported her daughter to social services.

Priest told her boyfriend she had smacked Kaylee for 'sh**ing in her nappy'
Priest told her boyfriend she had smacked Kaylee for ‘sh**ing in her nappy’

It is unclear what if any action was taken, despite witnesses calling the Solihull flat they lived in ‘grubby’.

West Midlands Crown Prosecution lawyer Wendy Bounds, who oversaw the CPS case, said of Ms Windmill: “She was trying to alert them to the fact that her daughter had this child, that she had left home, and I think she was concerned for her.

“They did come out and check and it all seemed to be okay, she told anybody who came to the flat that she was redecorating.

“She got the tenancy of the flat with the father of the second baby and then that relationship ended and she stayed there.”

It is not yet clear which authority Debbie Windmill contacted with concerns about her granddaughter.

The Mirror has contacted Solihull and Birmingham social services for comment.

The mum showed total disinterest in her daughter in CCTV footage played in court
The mum showed total disinterest in her daughter in CCTV footage played in court

Dudley and Sandwell councils said they had no involvement with Kaylee.

In a victim victim impact statement, Ms Windmill said: “The impact of Kaylee’s death will live with me and the rest of her family for the rest of our lives.”

Sentencing, Mr Justice Foxton QC told Priest: “Lockdown made life more challenging. I accept that you were easily led particularly by Redfern who you were infatuated with.

“You and Redfern were equally responsible. You had ample opportunity to raise any concerns. Kaylee was very vulnerable and you were in a position of trust. You did nothing to summon help.”

He accepted she had poor decision making and had the tendency to make poor choices.

“I take into account the loss of your daughter has caused you genuine grief. You have shown some degree of remorse.”

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