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.

Life and Style
A teenager boy wakes up.
life
Life and Style
It is believed that historically rising rates of alcohol consumption have contributed to the increase
food + drink
Voices
The erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey has already been blamed for a rise in the number of callouts to the fire brigade for people trapped in handcuffs
voicesJustine Elyot: Since Fifty Shades there's no need to be secretive about it — everyone's at it
Arts and Entertainment
Critics say Kipling showed loathing for India's primitive villagers in The Jungle Book
filmChristopher Walken, Bill Murray, Scarlett Johanssen Idris Elba, Andy Serkis, Benedict Cumberbatch, Cate Blanchett and Christian Bale
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
Playing to win: for Tanith Carey, pictured with Lily, right, and Clio, even simple games had to have an educational purpose
lifeTanith Carey explains what made her take her foot off the gas
Arts and Entertainment
The White Sails Hospital and Spa is to be built in the new Tunisia Economic City.
architectureRussian billionaire designs boat-shaped hospital for new Dubai-style Tunisia Economic City
Arts and Entertainment
You could be in the Glastonbury crowd next summer if you follow our tips for bagging tickets this week
music
Sport
Husain Abdullah returns an interception off Tom Brady for a touchdown
nflLeague has rules against 'sliding to ground on knees'
Life and Style
tech
Extras
indybest
Life and Style
food + drink
News
i100
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Kylie performs during her Kiss Me Once tour
musicReview: 26 years on from her first single, the pop princess tries just a bit too hard at London's O2
Arts and Entertainment
film
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?
Royal Ballet star dubbed 'Charlize Theron in pointe shoes' takes on Manon

Homegrown ballerina is on the rise

Royal Ballet star Melissa Hamilton is about to tackle the role of Manon
Education, eduction, education? Our growing fascination with what really goes on in school

Education, education, education

TV documentaries filmed in classrooms are now a genre in their own right
It’s reasonable to negotiate with the likes of Isis, so why don’t we do it and save lives?

It’s perfectly reasonable to negotiate with villains like Isis

So why don’t we do it and save some lives?
This man just ran a marathon in under 2 hours 3 minutes. Is a 2-hour race in sight?

Is a sub-2-hour race now within sight?

Dennis Kimetto breaks marathon record
We shall not be moved, say Stratford's single parents fighting eviction

Inside the E15 'occupation'

We shall not be moved, say Stratford single parents
Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Talks between all touched by the crisis in Syria and Iraq can achieve as much as the Tornadoes, says Patrick Cockburn
Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

The Tory MP speaks for the first time about the devastating effect of his father's bankruptcy
Witches: A history of misogyny

Witches: A history of misogyny

The sexist abuse that haunts modern life is nothing new: women have been 'trolled' in art for 500 years
Shona Rhimes interview: Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Writer and producer of shows like Grey's Anatomy, Shonda Rhimes now has her own evening of primetime TV – but she’s taking it in her stride
'Before They Pass Away': Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Jimmy Nelson travelled the world to photograph 35 threatened tribes in an unashamedly glamorous style