Evil dad murders own eight-week-old baby daughter in ‘catalogue of violence’

An evil man who murdered his own baby daughter leaving her with more than 35 broken bones has been jailed for at least 20 years.

Kevin Eves, 37, inflicted a "catalogue of violence" on eight-week-old Harper Denton before smothering her at the family home in Wixams near Bedford on June 12 last year.

The Old Bailey trial heard on June 11 last year the baby's mum, Cherinea Denton, fell asleep on the sofa and Eves put Harper into a Moses basket in the main bedroom.

According to the defendant, he fed Harper at 1am then woke at 6am to find she had turned "purple" and was cold to the touch.

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The child was rushed to hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

A post-mortem found 34 rib fractures, 11 classic metaphyseal fractures, two fractured bones in each foot and a skull fracture.

The "severe" injuries were said to have been inflicted over at least three "attacks" in the three weeks before Harper's death.

The injuries were also said to be consistent with the child being "swung forcefully by the arms such that her head impacted against a surface such as the floor or a wall".

Eves denied intentionally harming Harper, claiming she must have suffered broken bones in his attempts to resuscitate her.

Passing sentence Justice Finola O'Farrell told Eves: "You will have to live with the guilt you killed the one person who completely depended upon you and would have loved you unconditionally – your own child."

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A tragic victim's statement written by mum Ms Denton was read out in court.

She said: "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 choosing to "manipulate, control and torment" her family following Harper's death in June last year.

Ms Denton added: "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 Eves was enjoying the knowledge that he could prolong or conclude our suffering".

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Detective Inspector Dani Bailey, of Bedfordshire Police, said: "Baby Harper suffered immensely in her short life at the hands of the person who should have been protecting and looking after her.

"The injuries she sustained were horrific and the fact they were deliberate is even more shocking."

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Justice O'Farrell described Eves as "cruel, brutal and vicious" as she sentenced him to life with a minimum 20 year term at the Old Bailey on Wednesday.

The jury deliberated for more than 22 hours to find him guilty of murder by a majority of 11 to one.

The jury also heard he had previously been jailed under a different name for assaulting a young boy.

But he kept the details of this attack secret from Harper's mum Cherinea Denton after meeting her online.

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