A five-year-old boy was beaten to death in a park by his mother’s boyfriend who descended into a fit of rage after the child lost one of his shoes, a court heard, Standard UK reports.
Marvyn Iheanacho, 39, is accused of battering little Alex Malcolm to death in a violent attack after the boy was found with fatal head and stomach injuries.
Witnesses heard a “child’s fearful voice saying ‘sorry’”, loud banging and a man screaming about the loss of a trainer, jurors were told.
Prosecutors said the noises could have been from “repeated assaults” on Alex in the Mountsfield Park in Catford, south-east London on November 20 last year.
Iheanacho, from Hounslow, west London, denies murdering the boy.
CCTV captured him taking Alex from his home, on three separate buses, to the park. They arrived there at 5.12pm, when it was already dark.
Eleanor Laws QC, prosecuting, told how there were no witnesses or footage of the defendant “landing blows” on the child, but said: “There is, however, clear evidence as to the fact the defendant lost his temper with Alex before he sustained his injuries.”
She said prosecutors know the pair went to the play area because Alex lost one of his trainers, which was later found there by police.
Describing an incident, she added: “The defendant was heard shouting loudly at Alex after finding out that Alex had lost his shoe.”
One witness, Sarah Strugnell, allegedly saw Iheanacho bend down to the child and ask where his shoes were.
“The man was very angry indeed and Sarah Strugnell describes how he was raging at the child who was very quiet,” said the prosecutor.
“Her partner recalls hearing the loud banging and a male voice screaming about the loss of shoes and a child’s fearful voice saying ‘sorry’.
“He describes the banging continuing. He shouted to his dogs which appeared to bring the male’s shouting to an end.”
She added: “At some point, whether during this confrontation or between this confrontation and the next sighting of the defendant by dog-walkers, soon after, back in the park, the boy had received extreme injuries.”
The court heard Iheanacho carried Alex unconscious to a minicab office, from where he was taken back to Ms Breha’s flat at about 7pm, while the nearest hospital was just a five-minute walk away.
He told Alex’s mother her son fell to his knees and hit his head and that he slapped him to try to wake him up, jurors heard.
Ms Laws said Iheanacho attacked a screaming Ms Breha after she called him a “danger to her family” and stopped her from calling an ambulance.
But she grabbed the phone after noticing her son was getting cold, his face had turned blue and he had stopped breathing.
The court heard Iheanacho told one paramedic the child had fallen to his knees and hit his head on the floor, but told others he had fallen from a climbing frame.
Doctors at Lewisham Hospital tried to resuscitate Alex, but a CT scan revealed he was suffering from severe brain swelling, and he was transferred to King’s College Hospital.
But an operation was unsuccessful and he was pronounced dead at 3.19pm on November 22.
A post-mortem revealed bruises on Alex’s head, neck, and body, while a pathologist concluded the combination of impact type head injury and blunt trauma to the abdomen was “consistent with inflicted injury”.
The prosecutor said Iheanacho denies causing any of the injuries to Alex, describing what happened as “an accident”.
But she said Iheanacho delivered a “forceful blow”, such as “a kick, a stamp, or a punch,” adding: “The prosecution say that Alex’s death was no accident.
“The injuries suffered were extensive and did not result from a fall. The defendant lost his temper, most likely because Alex had lost his trainer.”
He has previous convictions for violence, and “has a tendency to lose his temper and lash out,” the court heard.
After her son’s death, Liliya Breha described Alex as “beautiful, kind and gentle. She wept as she said: “He shouldn’t have been taken away from me.”
Iheanacho’s trial, at Woolwich Crown Court, is expected to last between two and three weeks