The mother of a five-year-old boy battered to death by his stepfather has spoken out about her ordeal.

Lilya Breha's son, Alex Malcolm, was murdered by his Marvyn Iheanacho from Hounslow , who beat him so hard that he died in hospital two days later from swelling in his brain.

Iheanacho , aged 39, beat the child in a public park in Catford after the boy lost one of his trainers on November 20, 2016. Police later found the missing trainer in the play area of the park.

"Perfect" five-year-old was murdered by his stepfather after losing his shoe in a park

A judge at Woolwich Crown Court handed Iheanacho a life sentence with a minimum term of 18 years, minus the time he has already spent in jail, on Tuesday (July 25).

Ms Breha, who herself was attacked by her partner when she tried to call for help, said she hopes the killer is never released from prison.

After the sentencing, Alex's mother spoke out, saying she was "heartbroken" by what her then partner had done to her "perfect" boy.

In a tearful interview she said: "He was bubbly. He was just perfect you know, he was a really, really special little boy.

"He was shy, he was so shy, and very polite. He would always say 'Mummy thank you' and 'I love you mummy'."

Witnesses described hearing a child's fearful voice saying "sorry", loud banging and a man screaming during the attack in Mountsfield Park in Catford, the trial heard.

Police officers found Alex's shoe, over which he lost his life, in the park

"Deeply entrenched character flaw"

The judge said the Hounslow man had a "deeply entrenched character flaw, one that leads you to overreact and lose your temper".

Iheanacho also lied about the events of the day to paramedics, hospital staff and police.

"All this to protect yourself and cover up what you had done," Judge Mark Dennis QC said.

Ms Breha, 30, described Iheanacho as a "good liar" and pathetic.

Recalling how she met him through a friend after he left prison, she said he had convinced her he was innocent and a good person.

She said: "When I think about it now to be honest, I feel like it was all such a big lie and he just pretended to be a good guy pretty well.

"I think he hid this ( temper) as well pretty well, until the point he just probably snapped."

Marvyn Iheanacho has previous convictions for violent crime

She said she is constantly reminded of Alex since his death, adding: "Everywhere I go, everywhere I look I see him, climbing, jumping, screaming my name.

"It has broken my heart."

Iheanacho carried Alex's unconscious body to a cab office and took him to Ms Breha's flat despite the hospital being just five minutes away.

When she saw her son's body she went to call an ambulance but Iheanacho kneed her in the chest, jumped on her back and strangled her.

"I felt what it is like to die"

"I couldn't say anything. And those moments I knew that is what it feels like to die because my eyes start rolling," she said.

He eventually released her from his grip and she was able to call the ambulance.

It emerged during the trial that Iheanacho had phoned Ms Breha from prison to pressure her to back him up in court.

Alex's mother Lilya Breha spoke out against her ex-partner, calling him "a good liar" and pathetic.

"There have been problems with witness interference," said prosecutor Eleanor Laws QC. "The defendant has phoned the mother of the deceased.

"We would say pressure is being exerted on the mother of the deceased, with the defendant pressing upon her his defence of accident."

Ms Breha, who moved to the UK from Ukraine a decade ago, said she feels lost since the murder.

"I have to start everything from the beginning"

She said: "I feel like for me it is like I have to start everything from the beginning.

"All this 10 years I've been in this country, it's gone literally. He took everything away from me.

"I don't know which way to go."

Looking to the future, Ms Breha told how she wants to try to give support to other parents whose children have been murdered, perhaps through charity work.

She said: "Hopefully I can be able to help somebody else not to make the same mistakes I did."

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