image copyrightFamily photograph

image captionJacob Marshall was a “happy little boy”, his mother said

A man who murdered his girlfriend’s toddler when she went to the hairdressers has been jailed for a minimum of 19 years.

Jacob Marshall suffered injuries to his body and a fatal head injury at his home in Speke, in July 2019.

Jonathan Simpson was convicted of murder at Liverpool Crown Court but has kept how Jacob died a “murky secret”.

Emma Marshall said she would regret leaving her 22-month-old son with Simpson, 25, for the “rest of my life”.

Jacob had suffered a “catalogue of injuries” and was taken to hospital after emergency services were called to Belsford Way on 12 July.

He died the following day.

image copyrightMerseyside Police

image captionJonathan Simpson was described as a “monster” by Jacob’s grandmother

Recorder of Liverpool Judge Andrew Menary said Simpson, who had convictions for 31 previous offences, had given “a variety of accounts” of how the toddler came by his injuries but all were untrue.

“Only you know precisely what you did that afternoon to hurt Jacob in this way and you have chosen, cruelly and cowardly, to keep that a murky secret,” he said.

“Instead you have lied and lied again about the cause of Jacob’s death.”

The court heard Simpson, of no fixed address but originally from Winsford in Cheshire, had moved in with Miss Marshall in June 2019 after they began a relationship in May that year.

She had left the toddler in his care while she went to the hairdressers, the court heard.

The judge said he would assume Simpson, was acting “in a rage” when he carried out the attack because if it had been “calculated violence” it would have been “unspeakably wicked”.

“You have not shown a jot of regret or remorse about any aspect of the case other than fury about being arrested in the first place,” he added.

Simpson was arrested two days after he fatally attacked Jacob in Cheshire and brought back to Merseyside for questioning, police said.

image copyrightFamily photograph

image captionEmma Marshall said she misses her son every day

Miss Marshall said in a victim impact statement: “On July 12 2019, my life changed forever.

“I made a decision to leave my baby Jacob in the care of Jonathan Simpson and that is something I will regret for the rest of my life.”

She described the toddler as a “happy little boy” who was “boisterous” and made her laugh.

“I miss Jacob every day and he will always be in my heart,” she said.

The judge said Miss Marshall could “never have known there was a much darker side” to her ex-boyfriend’s personality.

In a statement which was read to the court, Jacob’s grandmother Christine Parkinson described Simpson as a “monster”.

She said: “Jonathan Simpson took our baby boy from us and we are just heartbroken.

“He was such an innocent little boy with his whole life in front of him.”

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