A man who killed his girlfriend’s 2-year-old daughter by kicking her so hard that her liver split in two, has been sentenced to life in prison.
Dean Harris, 20, of Yaxley, Peterborough in England will serve a minimum term of 17 years for the November 2013 death of Amina Agboola, reports BBC News.
Harris killed Amina after he lost his temper when the toddler repeatedly soiled herself, the jury was told during trial.
He kicked the little girl with so much force that she was flung 6 feet across the room, tearing her liver in two. Paramedics described Amina as looking “like a rag doll” when they responded to the scene.
Harris, who was found guilty of murder earlier this year, has now written to the family confessing to the killing in the hope that they can get “closure,” the Daily Mail reports.
In the letter released by Cambridge Police, Harris wrote:
At this point I can remember saying 'for ---- sake Mina', I was already in a standing position and the next thing I knew I had kicked her in the stomach. She had gone backwards and landed on her front about six feet away. I realised what I had done and went to pick her up. She was crying at this point and I could tell it had winded her because of the way she was talking. I picked her up to comfort her, I checked her stomach to see if she was OK. I held her in my arms for around three minutes until she stopped crying. When I went to put her down on the floor to further see if she was OK I noticed that she had become limp....I then panicked.
Everything else that happened after this point, the phone calls, the ambulance, is well documented. I only wish I could take all this back but I can't so I hope the family can find some closure. I would further like to add that none of this was Sarah's fault, she has lost a child, so I think she has suffered enough. I am truly sorry for what I have done. I can no longer cause further anguish by continuing to lie.
Amina’s mother, 29-year-old Sarah Racqueman, was acquitted by a jury in June of causing or allowing her death. However, she admitted two other charges of neglect relating to other children, and was given a suspended sentence earlier this month at Cambridge Crown Court.
During Harris’ trial it emerged that despite being warned by a social worker that the man had a history of domestic violence and should not be left alone with a child, Racqueman said she gave him “the benefit of the doubt,” adding that she “believes in second chances.”
"I am pleased with the sentence Dean Harris has received today," Amina's father, Rueben Agboola, said in a statement released by police.
"However the grief feels like it has no end. I think about Amina constantly. I still cry every day," he added. "I go through the motions of living but inside I am somewhere else thinking about my daughter all the time.”
Amina had a number of other injuries, including an untreated broken wrist, the court was told.
“This was a horrendous case,” Detective Inspector Alan Page said. “There can be no justification for using violence against any child and Harris will have to deal with the consequences of his actions for the rest of his life.”