A CHILDRENS charity has welcomed the sentencing of murderer Kyle Bevan, but has called for a robust review into the circumstances leading up to the tragic death of two-year-old Lola James.
Kyle Bevan was sentenced to life imprisonment on Tuesday, serving a minimum of 28 years, for the murder of little Lola James in Haverfordwest in July 2020.
Bevan, 31, who after the incident moved to live in Aberystwyth, was told by Mr Justice Martin Griffiths that he may never be released from prison.
Lola’s mother, Sinead James, 30, of Neyland, was jailed for six years for causing or allowing her death.
The attack took place on 17 July 2020, with Lola dying from her injuries four days later.
She had suffered a "catastrophic" brain injury, and medical experts noted 101 separate injuries to her body.
Swansea Crown Court heard how Bevan had met James through Facebook and moved into the family home in February 2020.
Mr Justice Griffiths said Lola's death was "the culmination of several months of physical child abuse".
Reacting to the sentence, NSPCC Cymru’s Assistant Director Tracey Holdsworth said; “Lola died because of Kyle Bevan’s brutality and the abject failure of her mother, Sinead James, to protect her.
“However, the death of a child in such harrowing circumstances leaves many of us asking questions and the Child Practice Review being carried out into the circumstances around Lola’s death must be robust in finding whether more could have been done to protect this little girl and how agencies working together can better prevent future tragedies.
“We must make child protection a national priority.
“The Welsh Government has rightly committed to transforming children’s social care and it is crucial this leads to systemic changes that ensure children like Lola are better protected.
“We can all look out for children’s welfare, and anyone concerned about a child can call the NSPCC free helpline on 0808 800 5000, or email [email protected] . If a child is in immediate danger, please call 999.”
Echoing those views, Welsh Conservative Shadow Minister for Social Services, Gareth Davies MS said: “This is another tragic and preventable case, my thoughts go out to those affected by Lola’s death. This cannot be allowed to happen again, more must be done to prevent the deaths and abuse of children.
“In the Senedd today I have submitted a topical question to be answered by the Deputy Minister for Social Services regarding what support and guidance the Welsh Government is issuing to statutory agencies and local authorities to identify child safeguarding concerns.
“In addition to this, it’s clear more than ever that we need a Wales-wide review of children’s services in Wales. Wales is the only UK nation not undertaking one, whilst having the UK’s highest rate of looked-after children.”
The Welsh Government said in response that it will wait for the outcome of the child practice review and ‘carefully consider all the findings’.
A government spokesperson added: "We have an ambitious programme to transform children's services in Wales, based on a range of independent research, reviews and evaluation which set out the challenges which must be addressed and the actions we are taking."