Father Kevin Eves jailed for murder of his baby daughter
6 November 2019, 15:58 | Updated: 6 November 2019, 16:01
A father with a history of violent acts towards children was jailed for life today after admitting killing his baby daughter.
"Cruel, brutal and vicious" Kevin Eves was jailed for 20 years for murdering his daughter.
Eves, 37, inflicted horrific injuries on eight-week-old Harper before smothering her at the family home in Bedford on June 12 last year.
The Old Bailey heard how in 2006 Eves, who was then known as Forbes, was jailed for nine years after committing grievous bodily harm and assaulting a little boy.
However, he kept the details secret from his new partner, Cherinea Denton.
Eves had claimed the young boy was injured when he fell to the floor from a washing machine while he was looking after him.
But the injuries were said to be consistent with the child being "swung forcefully by the arms such that his head impacted against a surface such as the floor or a wall".
Eves, of Nightingale Court, Wixams, had denied murdering their baby daughter but was found guilty by a jury on Tuesday.
Sentencing him to life with a minimum term of 20 years, Mrs Justice O'Farrell said the "protracted and escalating violent attacks" Eves carried out were "cruel, brutal and vicious".
She said that Eves subjected his daughter to a series of escalating violence over her short life.
The judge continued: "Unfortunately you did not have the instincts to protect and nurture that most parents have.
"You were insensitive to the fragility of your baby and you were unable or unwilling to put her needs before your own comfort. You had uncontrolled rage."
"You should have been in no doubt that you caused distress and suffering. Probably you regretted your actions immediately. Probably you were remorseful, probably you tried to comfort Harper, but that did not stop you hurting her again and again," she said.
The court heard how in the final assault, Eves held his hand over Harper's mouth and then, having killed her, put her back in her Moses basket and went to sleep.
The judge said: "You will have to live with the guilt that you killed the one person who completely depended upon you and would have loved you unconditionally, your own child."
Harper's mother Ms Denton said in a victim statement: "My beautiful girl had her future stolen from her by somebody that she should have been able to trust and count on for the whole duration of her life - a life that should have lasted longer than eight weeks."
She criticised Eves for trying to "manipulate, control and torment" her and her family since Harper's death, saying: "At any time in the last 16 months, Mr Eves could have told the truth, admitted what he had done and ended this nightmare."
Ms Denton said it was "almost as if he was enjoying the knowledge that he could prolong or conclude our suffering".
The court had heard that Harper suffered 34 rib fractures, 11 classic metaphyseal fractures, two fractured metatarsal bones and a skull fracture.
The "severe" injuries were inflicted over at least three episodes in the weeks before Harper's death.
Defending, Jo Sidhu QC said Eves had a "warm, supportive childhood" but his life went "awry" when he got involved in taking drugs.