Mum begged for help in 999 call as three-year-old Dylan Crean lay dying
A mother made a harrowing 999 call begging for her dying son's life to be saved, after he was savagely attacked by her boyfriend.
The frantic call was played to Leicester Crown Court before Peter Cawser was jailed for a minimum of 18 years for the murder of three-year-old Dylan Crean.
Dylan suffered brain damage when Cawser punched and kicked him and threw the boy against a wall.
The court heard Dylan's mother, Katie, had tried to stop the attack, at the couple's home in Edward Street, Albert Village, near Moira, by jumping on Cawser's back – but he threw her down the stairs and beat her up.
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She then rang for an ambulance, bravely continuing the conversation in his presence, while putting the infant in the recovery position.
She was recorded talking to Dylan about Christmas and presents, trying to keep him awake.
When Cawser was out of earshot, Miss Crean told the call-handler: "I'm going to tell you what happened when he's gone.
"I'm so scared. He hit us. Please help me.
"I couldn't tell you at first because he was standing next to me. He's left because he thinks the police are coming.
"I'm scared he's going to come back."
Dylan was taken to hospital in August last year, with 73 injuries to his head and body, but died in his mother's arms the next day.
An experienced paediatrician said he had "never seen such a sustained physical attack on a child".
The 22-year-old initially denied murdering Dylan, but changed his plea to guilty before he was due to stand trial.
After the sentencing, Miss Crean (22), said she would never forgive Cawser, who tried to pin the blame for the child's death on her.
She said: "I hate him. No, I don't hate him, I've got no feelings for him.
"I feel sorry for anyone who ever comes into contact with him. He doesn't deserve forgiveness."
Judge Michael Pert QC said: "Katie Crean has not only suffered the loss of her son, she's suffered the further ordeal of waiting over a year for a trial in which she would be accused, quite falsely of Dylan's murder."
He told Cawser: "You embarked upon a sustained, savage and brutal attack upon this young child.
"It was the vindictive and uncontrollable rage of an adult man against a three-year-old child."
The court heard in the days leading up to the attack, Cawser had been taking diazepam tablets for recreational use and was annoyed with Dylan because he was often in the couple's bedroom and playing with his belongings.
Prosecutor Sally Howes QC said: "He claimed Dylan was interfering with his belongings, including narcotics."
Miss Crean described Cawser as having "flipped" or "snapped" after returning from work on the day of the attack.
Cawser then left the house and told a friend, at 5.30pm, he had struck Katie and hit Dylan "quite hard".
He returned home at 6.10pm, where he was arrested. He made no comment in police interviews and then gave a bogus account, blaming Miss Crean.
The prosecution accepted the attack was "not premeditated and happened in the heat of the moment during a sudden loss of temper".
After being remanded into custody, Cawser admitted to a fellow inmate slapping and punching Dylan and trying to pin the blame on Miss Crean.
In a letter to the judge, Cawser said: "I hate myself for what's happened.
"If I could give up my life to give his back I would.
"I never meant to kill him. I'm deeply sorry."
He apologised for wrongly blaming Miss Crean.
The court had heard Ms Crean and Dylan had previously lived in Birmingham and had been known to the authorities after she had reported being domestically abused by the boy's father.
A Birmingham Safeguarding Children Board spokesman said: "A serious case review is being undertaken into the circumstances of this case in order to identify what lessons can be learnt."