A U.K. man is on trial for the murder of a 5-year-old boy, who prosecutors say was beaten to death by the man after the boy lost his shoe.
Marvyn Iheanacho, 39, is facing murder charges after several witnesses saw him yelling and berating his stepson during a walk in the park in 2016. The boy lost his shoe while walking in the park and Iheanacho became irate, witnesses told the prosecution, according to the Daily Mail.
The victim was under Iheanacho's care during the day of the murder, as Iheanacho had been dating the victim's mother, Lilya Breha, for several years. At some point during the walk, Iheanacho discovered that the boy had lost his shoe and became angry, shouting at the boy loudly enough for passersby to hear.
Iheanacho then allegedly struck the boy several times, beating him badly enough to knock the boy unconscious. A pair of dog walkers spotted the boy slumped on a nearby park bench while Iheanacho talked on the phone. The witnesses say Iheanacho was saying that the boy had "fallen asleep and he's heavy."
Iheanacho then carried the boy to a local minicab office to catch a ride back to Breha's apartment rather than taking the boy to the hospital. Witnesses said that the closest hospital was just a five-minute walk away.
The prosecution argues that while there is no video evidence of Iheanacho striking the boy nor were there witnesses to the crime, they believe Iheanacho's actions prior to and after the boy's death were indicative of violent abuse.
When Iheanacho arrived at Breha's apartment, he explained that the boy had fallen and hit his head. He also became violent with Breha after she called him a "danger to the family" and struggled for the telephone to call 911. Eventually, Breha managed to call for paramedics after she noticed the boy was cold and no longer breathing.
The boy was taken to a local hospital where it was discovered he was suffering from severe brain swelling. He died shortly after.
The prosecution argued that Iheanacho delivered a fatal blow to the victim either with his hands or feet and it was strong enough to kill the boy within minutes.
"[The victim's] death was no accident. The injuries suffered were extensive and did not result from a fall. The defendant lost his temper, most likely because Alex had lost his [shoe]," argued the prosecution. "He has previous convictions for violence and has a tendency to lose his temper and lash out."