A man accused of murdering his partner’s toddler once “smashed up” their home with a hammer after taking Xanax, a court heard.
Sinead James, 30, who is accused of causing or allowing the death of her two-year-old daughter, described the time her partner Kyle Bevan went on a drug-fuelled rampage around their home in south-west Wales.
Bevan, 31, from Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, is charged with murdering Lola James, who died on July 21 2020.
Wearing all black, James, from Neyland, Pembrokeshire, gave evidence throughout Tuesday morning at Swansea Crown Court.
She said she met Bevan on Facebook, and he moved into her home in Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, around the time of the first lockdown in March 2020.
James said they received benefits, which they spent on “food, alcohol and drugs”.
She said that on May 14 2021, Bevan began “smashing up” her home after taking Xanax.
James told the court she took Lola and her other two daughters – who cannot legally be named – to a friend’s home at around 10.30pm to stop them from seeing the destruction.
She said: “He got a hammer and hit my light switches in my kitchen. He smashed my house up.
“He was in my face so I pushed him away from me. He was having a go at me.”
James said that Bevan felt “ashamed” the next day, and agreed “not to take drugs in the house”.
The mother-of-three said that when they first met, Bevan had told her he was “an old spice-head, but he didn’t take them any more”, but that he regularly took amphetamines, Xanax and cannabis.
She added that he would not take drugs in the same room as her children, and that she had been “dead against” drugs but also began taking amphetamines while with Bevan.
Under cross-examination, James added that Bevan had never acted violently towards her or her children, apart from on one occasion where he bruised her arm after grabbing it while attempting to take her phone during an argument.
She said her relationship with Bevan was “totally different” from the allegedly abusive relationship she had with her previous partner, after which she began taking medication for anxiety and depression.
James said Bevan was “really good” with her children and she never worried about him hurting them.
She said: “He would cook them dinner and do things for them.
“He liked buying them loads of stuff that they didn’t need but he just wanted to treat them.”
James cried as she described Lola, telling the court: “She was a lovely little girl.
“She was full of beans – so cute and lively. I could not ask for a better daughter.”
James said Lola had been accident-prone, regularly falling over and bruising her shins, and she had tried to get her tested for ADHD.
Lola died on July 21 2020 of “catastrophic” head trauma, having suffered 101 external injuries and extensive damage to both her eyes. Her brain injuries were compared with those found in car crash victims.
Bevan claims the family dog caused the injuries by pushing her down the stairs.