Woman charged with murdering her son worked for council

The mother of two-year-old Kyrell Matthews, who died at his Thornton Heath home in October 2019 after suffering 39 fractures, had been employed by Croydon Council… working with children in care.

Kyrell Matthews: two-year-old died after suffering 39 fractures.Photo: Met Police

Inside Croydon has confirmed that Phylesia Shirley was a council employee at the time of her child’s death.

Shirley, 23, from Bensham Manor Road,  together with Kemar Brown, 27, appeared at the Old Bailey last week as they were remanded in custody facing allegations of murder and causing or allowing the death of a child.

The toddler was found in cardiac arrest at his home in Thornton Heath on October 20 last year.  The court was told Matthews had died from “blunt force trauma”.

Shirley, who is expecting another child in January, appeared in the dock at the Old Bailey while Brown – who was not Kyrell’s father – followed proceedings via videolink from HMP Belmarsh. The charges follow a year-long investigation by the Metropolitan Police.

Judge Anthony Leonard QC remanded both in custody until a plea hearing on February 25. No date has been set for a trial.

At the time of her child’s death, Shirley was working for Croydon Council, in its children’s services department. Inside Croydon understands she left the council’s employ earlier this year.

Today, the council refused to comment on the case, other than to confirm that, as it is required to by law when a child has died or suffered serious harm, they will be carrying out a safeguarding practice review.

In March this year, Croydon’s children’s services was given a “Good” rating by Ofsted inspectors, having been rated as “Inadquate” in September 2017.

About insidecroydon

News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email inside.croydon@btinternet.com
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