Ben Igbinedion, a 44 year-old Edo State Man living in London, has been found guilty of murdering his partner's three-year-old nephew after he left him with injuries so severe they were likened to those caused by a car crash.
UK Guardian Newspaper reports :
That Daniel Evbuomwan died of "catastrophic" injuries inflicted upon him by Ben Igbinedion. Igbinedion, 44, of Bromley, south-east London, denied murder but was found guilty on Thursday following a two-week trial at the Old Bailey.
Daniel was a boy in normal physical health but all that dramatically changed when he went to stay with Igbinedion and his family in March this year, the court heard.
On the morning of 2 March he could not be woken and was taken to University Hospital Lewisham, south-east London, where he was pronounced dead at 11.25am.
He was found to have suffered multiple injuries to his ribs and multiple fractures to his pelvis, described by Professor Anthony Risdon, who carried out a postmortem, as among the most severe he had seen.
The prosecutor Richard Whittam QC told jurors: "Daniel had been subject to major trauma of the kind of impact or scale that it might have had in a road traffic accident. The injuries to the thorax chest area and abdomen could have been from crushing forces."
Daniel had been living with his grandmother Rosemary since earlier this year. She had wanted to go shopping and to church, so the decision was made that he should stay with his aunt Sandra Okundaye, a nurse, and her partner, Igbinedion, the court heard. Okundaye was away working that night, jurors were told.
Giving his own evidence, Igbinedion told the court that he treated the boy as if he was his own son. He claimed he woke Daniel up at 5.30am to use the toilet, before returning the child to his room and turning the light off.
He accepted the youngster had been well during the day but could not explain what happened. Igbinedion is due to be sentenced on 27 November.
Daniel's mother, Augustina Kunu, said his death had left her "empty, heartbroken, lonely, lost, devastated and confused.
"I am unable to sleep and, when I am able, I wake up in tears because I can no longer see him lying by my side," she said in a victim impact statement released by police. "I cannot get over Daniel's death because of the bond we had. He was a brilliant son, a friend, a star, a hero and a help-mate. He would look into my eyes and say 'Mummy, how are you?'
"His death has affected my marriage, leaving it empty because Daniel was our dream, the pride and crown of our marriage. His dad, Victor, has been left broken-hearted, confused, lonely and empty. This whole matter has pulled our family apart."
Detective Chief Inspector Graeme Gwyn, of the Metropolitan police's homicide and major crime command, said: "Ben Igbinedion's violent actions resulted in the death of a three-year-old boy who had no chance of defending himself and devastated the lives of two families.
"Throughout the time since Daniel's death, Igbinedion has continued to deny any involvement. However, a jury has seen through his story and convicted him of murder."