Life for former Sawtry man who murdered a toddler

11:49 05 August 2014

Amina Agboola

Amina Agboola

Archant

A former Sawtry College student has been jailed for life for murdering his girlfriend’s two-year-old daughter.

Dean Harris, 20, was told on Tuesday he must serve a minimum of 17 years for killing Amina Agboola.

Harris, who had been in a relationship with Amina’s mother for just five months, was left alone with the toddler at their home in Scott Drive, Yaxley, on November 21, last year, with devastating consequences.

He lashed out in frustration at the toddler after she had soiled a pair of her knickers, kicking her so hard that, he later told a prison inmate, she flew 6ft across the room.

The force of the blow was so severe that it tore her liver in two.

Harris called an ambulance, claiming Amina had hurt herself falling off the toilet. She was taken to Peterborough City Hospital but died from her injuries.

Harris, also of Scott Drive, admitted manslaughter but denied murder, but he was convicted following a trial at Cambridge Crown Court.

Amina’s mother was acquitted of causing or allowing the death but admitted two other charges of neglect relating to other children. She was given a suspended sentence earlier this month.

The trial heard Amina was found to have had a number of other injuries, including an untreated broken wrist.

Following the sentencing, Amina’s father, Reuben, said: “I am pleased with the sentence Dean Harris has received. However, the grief feels like it has no end. I think about Amina constantly. I still cry every day.

“I go through the motions of living but inside I am somewhere else thinking about my daughter all the time.

“No one understands the pain except those people who are experiencing it. My heart reaches out to every parent on earth who is suffering the loss of a child.”

The case was investigated by the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit.

Detective Inspector Alan Page said: “This was a horrendous case. There can be no justification for using violence against any child and Harris will have to deal with the consequences of his actions for the rest of his life.

“While no sentence can ease the pain felt by Amina’s family, hopefully they will now be able to start moving on with their lives.”

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