Toddler ‘beaten to death by mum’s boyfriend while she ignored abuse’, court hears

The statue of Lady Justice on the dome of the Old Bailey  (PA Archive)
The statue of Lady Justice on the dome of the Old Bailey (PA Archive)

A 15-month-old boy was shaken and beaten to death after enduring a series of assaults at the hands of his mother’s boyfriend, while she did nothing to stop the violent abuse, the Old Bailey has heard.

Jacob Lennon died on August 27, 2019 from injuries allegedly sustained at his home in Roehampton.

Jake Drummond, 33, is now on trial accused of the toddler’s murder, while Jacob’s mother Louise Lennon is accused causing or allowing the death of a child and child cruelty.

Medics found Jacob’s face was so swollen that he could not open his eyes and looked “like a panda” when he was treated, jurors heard.

Prosecutor Sally O’Neill KC said Drummond had been taking cocaine with a friend on the night Jacob was fatally injured, and Lennon is said to have known of the abuse being inflicted on her son.

“Jake Drummond had embarked on a campaign of deliberately assaulting and hurting Jacob between July and the end of August”, she said.

“The injuries which he caused were obvious and noticeable.

“It is clear that at some stage that night, if Jacob was in bed with Louise Lennon at 1am, someone must have taken him out of the bed.

“It is also clear that at some stage, someone, the Crown say Jake Drummond, seriously assaulted Jacob by shaking him and hitting him so severely that he became unconscious.

“It is almost inconceivable that Louise Lennon would not have heard the sounds of that assault, but even if she didn’t … she not only did nothing about it but contrived with Jake Drummond to concoct a story to try and create a completely false account of what had happened to Jacob.

“The events schedule demonstrates for you what the priorities were for these defendants. Jacob’s well-being did not feature in that list. They were concerned only for themselves and their own needs and interests.”

Drummond is accused of inflicting a “sadistic” wound on Jacob’s genitals, while jurors are set to see texts between the couple allegedly making light of the youngsters injuries.

One message includes “a reference to putting him in the torture chamber”, said Ms O’Neill, while Lennon referred to Jacob as looking like “a little madman” because of his bruises.

Jacob was found with massive swelling and bruising on his face by paramedics after his mother called 999, claiming he had bumped his head “like he fell out of bed or something”.

The boy had bruises on his forehead, the other side of his temples and his cheeks while his skull was “almost soft and spongy-like”.

As well as claiming her son had fallen from his cot, Lennon also said Jacob tripped on their way back from a supermarket to their flat in Roehampton, south-west London, but gave different accounts about whether that had happened 13 or five days before he passed away.

A post-mortem examination by Dr Nat Carey found Jacob had died after multiple episodes of inflicted trauma culminating in the infliction of the fatal head injury, and that it is likely Jacob hit his head against a blunt surface while he was being shaken.

The court heard a neuropathologist found Jacob had several previous injuries which were days to weeks old, and a “final” injury which was less than two days old.

The pair deny all charges.

The trial continues.