A five-year-old boy was battered to death in a park by his mother’s boyfriend, who flew into a rage after the child lost one of his trainers, a court has heard.
Marvyn Iheanacho, 39, is accused of causing Alex Malcolm fatal head and stomach injuries during a violent assault on the evening of 20 November last year.
Witnesses heard a “child’s fearful voice saying sorry”, loud banging, and a man screaming about the loss of a shoe, jurors were told.
Prosecutors say the banging could have been from “repeated assaults” on Alex in Mountsfield park in Catford, south-east London.
Iheanacho, from Hounslow, west London, is standing trial at Woolwich crown court, where he denies murdering the boy.
“The prosecution say that he died at the hands of this defendant, a man who was looking after him, acting as his stepfather, but who on the afternoon/early evening of November 20 last year, lost his temper and violently assaulted the boy, causing him fatal head and stomach injures,” said the prosecutor, Eleanor Laws QC.
“The defendant is a man who has ever since, we say, done his best to avoid being held accountable for those injuries.”
A jury of seven men and five women heard he was in a relationship with Alex’s mother, Lilya Breha, and would often stay at her flat in Catford.
CCTV captured Iheanacho taking Alex from his home, on three separate buses, to the park, where they arrived at around 5.12pm, when it was already dark.
Alex was wearing black trainers, a red jacket, a woolly hat and gloves.
Laws told jurors there are no witnesses or CCTV footage of “the defendant landing blows on Alex”, but continued: “There is, however, clear evidence as to the fact the defendant lost his temper with Alex before he sustained his injuries.”
She said prosecutors know the pair went to the play area because Alex lost one of his trainers, which was later found there by police.
Describing an incident at about 6pm, she added: “The defendant was heard shouting loudly at Alex after finding out that Alex had lost his shoe.”
One witness, Sarah Strugnell, allegedly saw Iheanacho bend down to the child and ask where his shoes were.
“The man was very angry indeed and Sarah Strugnell describes how he was raging at the child who was very quiet,” said the prosecutor.
“Her partner recalls hearing the loud banging and a male voice screaming about the loss of shoes and a child’s fearful voice saying sorry.
“He describes the banging continuing. He shouted to his dogs, which appeared to bring the male’s shouting to an end.
“It is the prosecution case that this banging could well have been in fact banging from repeated assaults upon Alex.
“At some point, whether during this confrontation or between this confrontation and the next sighting of the defendant by dog-walkers soon after, back in the park, the boy had received extreme injuries.”
Judge Mark Dennis QC told jurors the main issue in the case is how Alex sustained those injuries and said the trial will last between two and three weeks. The trial continues.