Lylah Aaron, three, was kicked, slapped and had her head slammed against a wall by her mother’s boyfriend because he was jealous that she got more attention than him.

Sheffield Crown Court heard of how Delroy Catwell attacked the toddler in an incident that left her with four broken ribs. Catwell denies charges of murder saying that the blood stain found in the main bedroom of the family’s house was the result of him trying to kill a spider, despite Afro-Caribbean hairs being found in the blood.

Bryan Cox QC, prosecuting, told the court that Catwell’s relationship with Lylah’s mother, Precious Chibanda, was “generally good but sometimes he would complain he felt sidelined and she gave too much to Lylah.”

Lylah was taken to hospital after being found ill and unconscious at the family home, in an attack that detectives believe took place when Lylah’s mother was still at work. It is also believed that the toddler had suffered another attack prior to the final incident.

Claiming that he’d never hurt Lylah, Catwell called Lylah’s mother o the day of the incident to tell her she was ill and when she returned home she found the child asleep. It was only when she tried to wake her daughter and got no response that she was taken to hospital.

The trial continues.