Brit who shot girlfriend dead is now convicted of leaving her toddler to die alone as 'he went for cigarette'

A BRITISH man has been convicted of killing the toddler daughter of his ex-girlfriend – who he also murdered.

Robert Leeming admitted flying into a rage and battering his ex, 25-year-old Jasmine Lovett, with a hammer, but denied the murder of little Aliyah Sanderson, who was almost two-years-old.

However, Leeming, 37, has now been convicted of the child's murder by a court in Canada, where it was told how he likely left Aliyah "gasping for air" and dying while he went for a cigarette.

The HGV driver from Marlborough, Wiltshire, moved to Canada in 2013 and had been living with Jasmine and Aliyah at his home in Calgary at the time of their deaths.

Leeming had previously been in an "intimate relationship" with the young mum, but it is understood they were not in a romantic relationship when she was killed.

He initially insisted he “did nothing wrong” after being questioned over their disappearances, but later told the cops he lost his temper and attacked Jasmine with a hammer and shot her in the head, the Mirror reports.

The bodies of the mum and daughter were discovered in shallow graves in Kananaskis – 70 miles west of the home in Calgary.

On the first day of his trial, Leeming pleaded guilty to killing Jasmine and not guilty to killing Aliyah.

Leeming said Aliyah accidentally died after falling down the stairs and he killed Jasmine when she accused him of harming the girl.

The trial heard Aliyah died of blunt force head trauma, and Leeming described Aliyah as a "great kid" and said he didn't hurt her.

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But prosecutor Doug Taylor said a fall did not fit forensic evidence and "defies logic".

He told the court: “He told lie after lie after he murdered Jas­­mine, and, so says the Crown, Aliyah. He lied to the police. He lied to the public. He lied to his ex-wife. He lied to his employer.

"All of this was a calculated scheme to get away with murder – and not just one, but two.”

Yesterday, Court of Queen's Bench Justice Keith Yamauchi said Leeming had lied in his testimony and found him guilty of Aliyah's murder.

He told the court: "He meant to cause Aliyah’s death or meant to cause bodily harm to Aliyah that was likely to cause her death," and questioned why the HGV driver made no efforts to help the girl after he alleged she fell down the stairs.

Justice Yamauchi added: "This court does not know with any precision the exact time Mr. Leeming assaulted Aliyah; however, it has found beyond a reasonable doubt he did.”

He was also found to have lied some 21 times in his testimony.

Aliyah's grandma Kim Blankart said after the trial: “I wanted to get up and hug the judge," the Daily Star reports.

She added: "Obviously happy is not the best word. But we’re pleased that we got justice and relieved that it’s over.

"We can just go back to healing and just getting on with our lives."

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