'He prioritised selling drugs instead of looking after his two-year-old son': police welcome Northampton drug-dealer's life sentence

Northamptonshire Police has welcomed the life sentence handed to a Northampton drug dealer today for murdering his two-year-old son.

Raphael Kennedy was jailed for 24 years at Northampton Crown Court today (October 30) for beating toddler Dylan to death in a vicious attack in December 2017.

DCI Ally White of the East Midlands Special Operations Unit speaking after Kennedy's conviction two weeks ago.

DCI Ally White of the East Midlands Special Operations Unit speaking after Kennedy's conviction two weeks ago.

READ MORE: The judge told Kennedy at his sentencing that 'the truth had finally caught up to him' and he may never be released from jail.

The court heard during the trial how Dylan had at least 39 bruises, at least 13 rib fractures, and a lacerated liver when he died. Expert evidence showed he had consumed cocaine in the hours up to his death and had traces of heroin, crack and cannabis in his hair fibres.

DCI Ally White from the East Midlands Special Operations Unit, said: “I welcome today’s sentence of 24 years in prison for Kennedy. The length of sentence reflects the seriousness of the crime committed.

“Kennedy beat his son with such ferocity that he caused multiple rib fractures and devastating internal bleeding. He also allowed the toddler to consume vast quantities of Class A drugs, including heroin, crack cocaine and cocaine while in his care.

“During his trial Raphael Kennedy admitted that his income came from selling heroin and crack cocaine. He prioritised selling drugs instead of looking after his two-year-old son, leaving him alone in his flat in order to deal.

“Only one person was responsible for Dylan’s death and he will spend the next 24 years in prison.”

Kennedy claimed during his trial that Dylan was 'his little bestie' and that one of his drug-dealing enemies must have broken into his flat and beaten the boy while the 31-year-old was dealing in an alleyway.

But chief crown prosecutor Janine Smith from the CPS said: “During Raphael Kennedy’s trial, the CPS demonstrated to the court that he alone was responsible for Dylan’s tragic death and that by failing to seek immediate medical help, he was trying to cover up what he had done.

“Critical evidence for the prosecution was the medical evidence that showed when the attack took place and that Kennedy's account of events could not have been true because of the severity of Dylan’s injuries.

“For someone to be guilty of murder, the prosecution must prove that the defendant intended to kill or do serious harm at the moment they inflicted the injuries. Even if a defendant has not planned the attack beforehand and regrets what they have done afterwards, the correct charge is still murder.

“This intent has been reflected in the sentence handed down today.

“I would like to express my sympathy to Dylan’s family and loved ones.”