Former Bedford man convicted of killing his eight-week-old daughter

Kevin Eves

A man has been found guilty of killing his eight-week-old baby girl in Wixams, Bedford.

Kevin Eves, 37, of Coppice Farm Road in Penn, High Wycombe, was convicted of the murder of his daughter Harper Denton at the Central Criminal Court in London today (Tuesday).

On 12 June 2018 at around 6.05am, an ambulance was called to an address in Wixams, where Eves lived at the time, to a report of an unresponsive baby girl who wasn’t breathing. Baby Harper was taken to Bedford Hospital and despite attempts to resuscitate her, she was sadly pronounced dead shortly after arrival.

Three days later, examination results showed that Harper had a number of bone fractures to her ribs, arms, legs and feet.

Eves was arrested on 19 June 2018, and during his interview he denied knowledge of how Harper received her injuries. He was subsequently released on bail.

The pathology report showed that the bruises and fractures the baby had were of differing ages and suggested a pattern of inflicted trauma in a child who wasn’t mobile yet.

Results from a post-mortem examination were unable to ascertain a cause of death, but the court heard that an expert found the evidence was consistent with smothering.

Following the findings, Eves was further arrested and charged with murder. He was convicted by a majority verdict following a jury trial and will be sentenced tomorrow (Wednesday).

Detective Inspector Dani Bailey from the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit said, “This has been a very sad and emotive case; one of the worst I have had to deal with.

“This was clearly heart-breaking for all involved, especially Harper’s mother and the huge impact the loss of her baby daughter has had on her.

“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.

“I am pleased that Eves has been convicted for this heinous crime and I hope his sentence reflects the severity of his actions. We have worked hard to ensure that Eves has been held accountable for his actions and has been brought to justice.”

Eves was previously convicted of causing grievous bodily harm to a two-year-old child in 2006 when living in Bournemouth and using his original name Kevin Forbes.

He was found guilty at Bournemouth Crown Court on 11 October and was sentenced to nine years in prison. He was released in 2010. Eves’ case is subject to a Serious Case Review by Bedford Borough Safeguarding Children Board, which is due to be published this month.

Cherinea Denton, who was originally charged in July 2018, with one count of murder, one count of causing/allowing the death of a child and one count of causing/allowing a child to suffer serious physical harm, had all the charges against her reversed on 3 October.

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