A man has admitted murdering his girlfriend's three-year-old son.
Peter Cawser, 22, pleaded guilty to the murder of Dylan Crean at Leicester Crown Court.
Dylan was found with life-threatening injuries in a property on Edward Street in Albert Village, Swadlincote, on the Derbyshire/Leicestershire border on August 30 last year. He was taken to Derby Royal Infirmary and later moved to the Queen's Medical Centre in Nottingham where he died from his injuries.
Cawser, of Edward Street, Albert Village, had entered a plea of not guilty at an earlier hearing but changed his plea to guilty on Wednesday.
Cawser's former girlfriend and Dylan's mother, Katie Crean, described the youngster as "funny, cheeky, crazy, brilliant and beautiful". Outside court, she thanked friends and well-wishers for their support since her son's death.
She said: "I'm just happy he has pleaded guilty and given us what we want, let me start to heal. I'd like to thank Leicestershire Police and the hospital as they've been amazing. I love Dylan so much and miss him so terribly every day. My life is so different now and not a day goes by when I don't think of my boy and his lovely smile. If you knew Dylan you couldn't help but love him.
"No-one will ever understand what he took from me and I hope no-one else ever has to go through what I have in the past 12 months and will continue to go through for the rest of my life. I am pleased he has admitted what he has done and it has stopped me from having to sit through a trial."
Detective Chief Inspector Matt Hewson, from Leicestershire Police, said: "Yesterday would have been the fifth birthday of Dylan if it had not been for the act of a person who Dylan had his trust in.
"This guilty plea means that we can move forward and our thoughts are with Katie who has endured a quite unimaginable last 12 months. She has been immensely brave and hopefully now it does give some closure to some aspects for Katie and will allow her to move forward."
The judge Michael Pert QC adjourned the case for sentencing at Leicester Crown Court on Thursday.