Vile mum and ex-partner who battered her son, 2, to death and recorded horror abuse are jailed for total of 38 years

A MUM and her violent ex have been caged for killing her two-year-old son after their horrific abuse was captured in secret mobile recordings.

Kyrell Matthews was repeatedly attacked in the weeks before he collapsed at home in Thornton Heath, South London.

The toddler had suffered 41 rib fractures and internal bleeding from a 4cm cut to his liver caused by a kick, punch or blow to the stomach.

Chillingly his harrowing final weeks were caught on recordings on mum Phylesia Shirley's phone where non-verbal Kyrell could be heard screaming in agony.

The youngster was attacked on at least five occasions over 28 days before he collapsed in October 2019.

Evil Shirley and partner Kemar Brown, 28, hid the abuse from social workers and convinced hospital medics that a head injury five months before Kyrell’s death was caused by falling from a sofa.

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Brown was today jailed for life with a minimum of 25 years while Shirley was handed a 13 year sentence.

Shirley, who worked in children's services for Croydon Council, was cleared of murder but convicted of manslaughter.

Brown was found guilty of murder and causing or allowing Kyrell's death.

The Recorder of London, judge Mark Lucraft QC, called the abuse "a truly shocking catalogue of injuries for a two-year-old boy".

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He said: "You should have been caring for this two-year-old boy not abusing him.

"Kyrell would have been in significant pain. Neither of you did anything to help him.

"He should have been cared for he should have felt safe and secure.

"And you did neither when it really mattered."

During the trial, jurors were forced to listen to haunting recordings of the youngster being attacked.

In one, Brown could be heard telling Kyrell to “shut up” followed by hitting sounds. 

Shirley asks: “What did he do, what he do now?”


Sounds of Kyrell crying, followed by banging and the toddler’s screams were heard.

In another recording taken in August 2019, Brown can be heard saying to Kyrell "Stop crying, stop crying, yeah" while imitating the baby's cries.

Two slapping sounds are then heard minutes apart.

Minutes later, Brown says "What you crying for?" followed by two hits or slaps, at which point Kyrell yelps and faintly cries.

The audio had been secretly recorded by Shirley because she suspected her Brown of being unfaithful.

Jurors heard Kyrell would have expressed the pain he was suffering in the final days of his life even though he could not speak.

After the pair were convicted, it emerged police had been called to a domestic incident at the home before the boy's death but he appeared "safe and well".

The officers were scrambled in July 2019 after a passer-by heard shouting and screaming and a female pleading: "Stop hitting my face".

This was after an earlier incident in May 2019 when Kyrell suffered a significant injury to his face and spent five days in hospital.

A probe was carried out but medics ruled it was "plausible" Kyrell could have fallen from the sofa and hit his head like Shirley claimed.

The couple, who were addicted to cannabis, had been visited by social services at least once.

Brown also had convictions for robbery, battery, having a knife, drugs and resisting an officer, as well as being subject to a non-molestation order relating to a former partner.

Despite his violent past, the court was told Shirley put her relationship with Brown above her own child.

On the day Kyrell collapsed, Shirley was heard sobbing in a 111 call as the operator told her to "push down hard and fast" and "go for it".

Speaking after the verdicts, Kyrell's paternal step-grandmother Christine Ernest said Brown and Shirley "deserved" it.

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She said: "I wish they would throw away the key with them but we know that's not always going to happen."

On Kyrell, she added: "He was very lively. He was a happy little character and the most loving little boy, always smiling."

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