Wolverhampton Council hold review of babysitting murder
Ryan Lovell-Hancox was abused and neglected during his stay in the bedsit
A serious internal case review has been started by a West Midlands council after a toddler was horrifically beaten and murdered by his babysitters.
Ryan Lovell-Hancox died in 2008 aged three after suffering more than 70 injuries at the home of his babysitters Christopher Taylor and Kayley Boleyn.
The pair, from Bilston, West Midlands, were found guilty at Wolverhampton Crown Court on Friday.
Wolverhampton City Council said it had to learn lessons from Ryan's death.
The court was told Ryan Lovell-Hancox had more than 70 injuries
"The death of a child under these circumstances gives us all pause for thought about whether there was anything we could or should have done to prevent it," the director for children and young people's services, Roy Lockwood, said.
He added that although Ryan was not listed on the at risk register or on any child protection plan, all the agencies in the city had a responsibility to do their utmost to ensure no child in the city ever dies in similar circumstances.
A four-week trial heard Ryan's mother Amy Hancox, 21, was paying about £40 a week for Taylor and Boleyn to look after Ryan while she decorated her home.
She told the court she had given Ryan to babysitters to look after as she "was not coping".
A neighbour who called the ambulance for Ryan said it looked as if a football team had had a go at him.
When questioned, the pair told police Ryan had slipped in the bath at their Slim Avenue flat. He died of a brain injury on 24 December 2008.
Kayley Boleyn and Christopher Taylor had both denied the murder
Taylor, 25, and Boleyn, 19, were also convicted of child cruelty.
Detectives believe the killers hid Ryan from his mother on the day before he suffered the fatal injury because severe bruising - in the shape of a hand-print - would have made their abuse obvious.
Officers say the pair committed the offences together and may even have encouraged each other to strike Ryan.
Neighbour Alan Mitchell called the ambulance for Ryan.
He said: "His head was swollen and he had grazes on his nose. It looked like a football team had had a go at him."
Among the abuse, Ryan was shouted at until he wet himself, and forced to lick spilled soup.
Miss Hancox said she intended to visit Ryan daily but had left it for up to three days at a time between visits.
She said: "My crime was naivety. Kayley is related to my family.
Ryan's mother describes him as a "really loving" little boy - West Midlands Police video
"She spent time at my mother's and father's houses. We were very close. She never showed any signs of nastiness.
"All I want is to see these two locked up for a lifetime and most of all I want and need a chance to rebuild my life and put my son to rest after this long period of time."
West Midlands Police said no action will be taken against Miss Hancox for leaving Ryan in Taylor and Boleyn's care.
The pair are due to be sentenced later this year.
It is the second child abuse case recently to be prosecuted in the West Midlands.
Birmingham City Council came under fire after seven-year-old Khyra Ishaq was starved to death in May 2008 by her mother Angela Gordon and her partner Junaid Abuhamza.
The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children said everyone had to be vigilant for signs that a child may need help.
It said: "Young children can't speak out for themselves but often show signs of distress.
"Child protection is everyone's responsibility and must become a top political priority in the coming general election."
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