Countdown to deliberation in murder trial of two-year-old Northampton boy begins

Forensic teams at the flat in Arthur Street.
Forensic teams at the flat in Arthur Street.

A defence barrister has made his final case for why a Northampton drug dealer should not be jailed for the murder of his toddler.

The countdown has begun before the jury is sent to deliberate on whether Raphael Kennedy is guilty of beating his two-year-old son Dylan to death in December 2017.

Today (October 17) at Northampton Crown Court, the prosecution and defence barristers in the trial laid out their last arguments to the jury.

Dylan died as a result of blunt force abdominal trauma and internal bleeding on December 15, 2017, after he was left in the sole care of his father, 31-year-old Raphael Kennedy, at a flat in Arthur Street.

A post-mortem revealed he had at least 39 external injuries at the time of his death, as well as at least 13 broken ribs and a lacerated liver.

Prosecutor Mr Jonas Hankin QC says Kennedy beat his son to death in a "vicious attack" before waiting over an hour to call an ambulance.

Kennedy's denies the allegation and claims someone may have entered his flat and beaten the boy while he was out dealing drugs in an alleyway.

Mr Hankin told the jury today: "The idea of another attacker is a preposterous suggestion but it's the only one he has.

"Something happened that triggered the anger that this defendant unleashed on that child... He then waited as long as he could before calling an ambulance. But Dylan was doomed without medical intervention.

"Dylan was introduced to his father 11 week’s before his death. Before then he was a normal healthy and happy boy. After his introduction to his father, Dylan was subjected to repeated episodes of violence and neglect.

"There is only one true verdict. That Mr Kennedy is responsible for the murder of Dylan."

Kennedy claims his properties have been targetted and attacked on three separate occasions. When he took the stand to testify, he called Dylan his 'little bestie' and said he 'would never hurt him'.

Kennedy's defence barrister Mr Michael Mather-Lees said: "Mr Kennedy is a drug dealer. I do not shy away from that. It's not to his credit. But it does not make him a murderer.

"I cannot say who caused those injuries to that little boy. But I say there is not a shred of evidence that directly says that [Kennedy] did it.

"Is there another explanation that is possible? Could [Kennedy's flat] have been attacked a fourth time?"

The jury is expected to be sent out to deliberate tomorrow (October 18) after hearing the judge's summary.