Woman reveals devastation after ex-boyfriend convicted of killing unborn son
A young woman whose unborn baby was killed when she was savagely kicked and stamped on in the street has spoken of her heartbreaking loss as her ex-boyfriend was convicted of the attack.
Teaching assistant Kevin Wilson, 22, and a 17-year-old boy could be facing life sentences after being found guilty at the Old Bailey of child destruction and causing grievous bodily harm to Malorie Bantala on June 15 this year.
As the verdict was delivered, Miss Bantala became overcome with emotion and lashed out at Wilson in the dock saying: "I'm going kill you. You don't understand. I hate you. Drop dead," before running out of court in tears.
In a victim impact statement read to court, she told how she hated being referred to as the victim when the "real victim" was her beloved son Joel.
She wrote: "Joel never got to meet me properly, never know how much I love him.
"I will never get to see him smile, watch him get his first tooth or to take his first steps.
"I will never get to watch him at university or see him graduate. I will never get to be the mother of the groom.
"I love my son so much words cannot describe it. The moment Joel was taken from me I lost everything."
She said she would have brought her son up to be "100 times the man Kevin would ever be".
The court heard how Wilson had taken matters into his own hands after Miss Bantala refused to have an abortion and he recruited the youth to help.
On the day of the assault, the eight months pregnant Marks & Spencer worker had been buying decorations for her baby shower, returning home to Peckham in south-east London at around 8pm.
As she approached, Wilson and his accomplice emerged from bushes outside her flat where they had lain in wait disguised in crash helmets.
They launched a vicious attack, targeting Miss Bantala's stomach as she lay curled up on the ground, desperately trying to protect her unborn child with one hand.
Giving evidence, Miss Bantala, 22, told jurors: "I remember looking at him and then something clicked in my mind and I said 'Oh shit, it's Kevin'. He turned round and we made brief eye contact.
"I didn't have time to think anything because by the time I knew it, I was on the floor.
"Kevin proceeded to kick my stomach, probably three or four times and then he stamped on my stomach twice.
"By then I had screamed 'Kevin' for him to stop but he continued to kick my stomach. They were harsh kicks."
Afterwards, she said Wilson had glanced back as she shouted out to him: "Kevin, I'm going to kill you, watch!"
The attackers were caught on CCTV fleeing on the youth's scooter, running a red light in their haste to get back to the estate where Wilson lived, a mile and a half away in Bermondsey.
Family and neighbours ran to Miss Bantala's aid but the baby boy was already dead.
Miss Bantala immediately told police her child's father's was responsible, saying: "He doesn't want the baby."
She was driven by police to Kings College Hospital where she was treated for life-threatening internal bleeding.
As well as losing six litres of blood, she had broken two fingers in the hand she had used to try to shield her child.
The court heard how Miss Bantala had been in an on-off relationship with Wilson and had turned to him for comfort after the death of a nephew from sickle-cell anaemia.
Miss Bantala decided to keep the baby, despite Wilson's repeated attempts to persuade her to have an abortion because he was not ready for fatherhood.
Later, he became angry, called her a "Jezzy" and tried to deny he was the father when she let slip to a mutual friend.
Wilson apologised for his behaviour as he told jurors: " When I look back on it now, I could have behaved much better."
By May, he said he had "moved on" with another girlfriend and got her pregnant too, although she did not have the baby.
He denied carrying out the attack on Miss Bantala, claiming he had worked all day at Octavia House, a school for children with behavioural problems, then walked home for a "nap" before leaving the house after 8pm to buy a Mr Kipling cake in a nearby Tesco.
Wilson was arrested the day after the assault while his accomplice was picked up weeks later.
The 17-year-old, who refused to give evidence, told police he had been staying at his grandmother's house and denied even knowing Wilson.
The jury rejected Wilson's explanation and found both defendants guilty. The maximum sentence for the unusual offence of child destruction is life.
The jury was not told that the 17-year-old defendant had himself become a father in August and was said by his lawyer to be "very involved" with the child.
The youth has a string of previous convictions including a robbery during which a woman was punched.
Following the verdict, Malcolm McHaffie, CPS London Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor, said: "The incomprehensibly evil actions of these two defendants have cruelly snatched away the life of an unborn baby boy who was just weeks away from being brought into the world.
"I would like to thank the victim for her courage in giving evidence against her attackers in this heart-breaking case."
Detective Chief Inspector Rob Pack said: "This has been a truly shocking case. Shocking that a man would plan and carry out such a violent and abhorrent attack with the sole intention of destroying the life he had helped create. Also, shocking that any person would help him in committing this crime.
"Today is not about Kevin Wilson. Instead it is very much about achieving justice for Malorie and Joel. No one who heard or reads Malorie's statement about the impact this has had on her, can fail to be moved by the hopes and dreams she had for Joel.
"All of those hopes which have been so cruelly taken away from Malorie before Joel even had a chance to start living his life. Our thoughts are very much with Malorie and her family at this time."