Boyfriend claims Kemarni's mother beat 'murdered' son during potty training

Little Kemarni Watson Darby was regularly beaten by his mother as she attempted to potty train him, her boyfriend told a court.

Kemarni Watson Darby was allegedly murdered by his mother and her boyfriend
Kemarni Watson Darby was allegedly murdered by his mother and her boyfriend

The three-year-old boy was allegedly murdered by his mother Alicia Watson and her boyfriend Nathaniel Pope.

Nearly two months into their trial, the prosecution case has rested and the defence has begun.

Pope, 31, immediately took to the stand at Birmingham Crown Court in front of a packed public gallery full of his and Kemarni's relatives on Wednesday.

The defendant said that a chaotic beginning to his relationship with 23-year-old Watson was followed by drug-fuelled living arrangements in West Bromwich where Kemarni was regular beaten.

Despite living together they had an "open" relationship where both could pursue other partners.

Pope, who was a chef at a Smethwick Caribbean restaurant, described the arrangement as: "No commitment, free to see other people."

After moving in with Watson in March 2018, Pope said he noticed how she would "shout and smack" Kemani almost every day as she couldn't cope with motherhood.

He told the court that Watson would fly into rages while trying to potty train Kemarni, including telling him once: "I'm gonna clean you up then bus' your ass".

Pope said he saw her pick the boy up by his arm and slap him repeatedly around the torso as she carried him out of their bedroom.

Earlier in the trial the jurors heard how the young boy died of internal injuries after sustaining more than 19 fractures in his ribcage.

However Pope refused to say he thought Watson's treatment of Kemarni "was abuse" despite being asked several times by his QC Jonas Hankins about the boy being repeatedly smacked.

He said: "I did not approve but I thought that was her parenting style.

"She would always try and get rid of Kemarni, always asking for someone else to babysit him."

Pope admitted he smoked cannabis a lot but said it was not the stronger skunk weed favoured by Watson.

He told the jury: "I smoke home-grown weed from Jamaica. She smoked skunk, which is a lot stronger.

"I smoked in the morning, throughout the day, and at night."

Describing Watson's personality Pope, who grew up in New York before moving to London aged 17, said: "I didn't get much from her."

"When she used to smoke she used to go quiet. She would not be very interactive."

Watson, of Raglan Road, Handsworth, and Pope, of Evans Street, Wolverhampton, both deny murder and child cruelty.

The trial continues.

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