Couple guilty of murdering abused boy, 3

A couple were today found guilty of murdering three-year-old Ryan Lovell-Hancox who died in hospital on Christmas Eve after being abused, neglected and beaten.

A jury at Wolverhampton Crown Court took seven hours to convict Christopher Taylor and Kayley Boleyn of killing the boy in an attack at their flat in Bilston, West Midlands, in December 2008.



A four-week trial heard that Ryan's mother was paying around £40 a week for Taylor, 25, and 19-year-old Boleyn to look after Ryan while she decorated her home in the month before the boy's death.



The pair were also convicted of child cruelty.









The defendants, who will be sentenced later this year, had been looking after Ryan - who suffered more than 70 injuries - for almost a month when he was subjected to a serious assault at their flat in Slim Avenue on December 22, 2008.

The trial was told that Ryan - who died in hospital two days later - was seen at the bedsit by a housing support officer hours before the attack which led to his death.



The court heard that the officer, who gave Boleyn a lift to a job centre, assumed Ryan was asleep after seeing one of his legs sticking out from under bedding.



It also emerged that a child had also been seen by housing officials at the flat on previous occasions.



Boleyn and Taylor, who both face mandatory life sentences, showed little emotion when the unanimous verdicts were returned, although the female defendant appeared to be on the verge of tears.



At the start of the trial, prosecutor Christopher Hotten QC said Ryan's mother Amy Hancox was struggling to cope with Ryan on her own when she agreed that Boleyn should look after him.

Mr Hotten told the jury: "Some time around November or perhaps the very beginning of December 2008, the arrangement appears to have been for Kayley and Christopher to look after Ryan at Slim Avenue until Christmas.



"In return, Amy was to give Kayley a sum of money each week - one says £20, the other says £40 - and a contribution towards food, gas and electric bills."



The court heard that it was also agreed that Miss Hancox would visit Ryan each day, although she subsequently failed to visit him for two or three days at a time.



Both defendants initially claimed Ryan had hit his head after falling in the bath, but the court heard they later changed their accounts in police interviews.



Ryan was taken to Wolverhampton's New Cross Hospital and then transferred to Birmingham Children's Hospital after paramedics were called to the flat at about 10.25pm on December 22.



Giving evidence on the second day of the trial, Miss Hancox told jurors she knew nothing of the abuse and last saw Ryan at her house in Bilston for around 20 minutes on December 20.



Ryan had been clingy and upset, his mother said, and did not want to let go of her before leaving with the defendants.

News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
Former Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin, left, with her daughter, Bristol
newsShe's 'proud' of her eldest daughter, who 'punched host in the face'
Arts and Entertainment
musicBand's first new record for 20 years has some tough acts to follow
News
Rob Merrick's Lobby Journalists were playing Ed Balls' Labour Party MPs. The match is an annual event which takes place ahead of the opening of the party conference
newsRob Merrick insistes 'Ed will be hurting much more than me'
Voices
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
News
Liam Payne has attacked the media for reporting his tweet of support to Willie Robertson and the subsequent backlash from fans
peopleBut One Direction star insists he is not homophobic
Life and Style
healthFor Pure-O OCD sufferers this is a reality they live in
Life and Style
Sexual health charities have campaigned for the kits to be regulated
healthAmerican woman who did tells parents there is 'nothing to be afraid of'
Life and Style
fashion
Arts and Entertainment
The John Peel Lecture has previously been given by Pete Townshend of The Who, Billy Bragg and Charlotte Church
musicGodfather of punk will speak on 'free music in a capitalist society'
News
peopleAt least it's for a worthwhile cause
News
Shoppers in Covent Garden, London, celebrate after they were the first to buy the iPhone 6, released yesterday
tech
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments