Damning texts between tiny Maya Chappell’s killer and her mother

Damning text messages of how Michael Daymond and Dana Carr covered up the abuse and downplayed the suspicions of family members were read to the jury.

Maya Chappell, two, suffered frequent assaults at the hands of her mother’s new boyfriend Michael Daymond, 27, leaving bruises all over her body until the day he shook her to death while in a bad mood over losing his benefits.

The vulnerable youngster should never have been left in his sole care, but Maya’s mother Dana Carr, 24, was so ‘infatuated’ with Daymond she ignored warnings about the abuse he was cruelly inflicting and even covered it up to protect him.

Three days after Carr and Daymond moved in together she reassured Maya’s father James Chappell – who made a Sarah’s Law application to police to find out if Daymond had a criminal history of child abuse – that they had split up.

She messaged him, lying: ‘He isn’t here James, nor do I plan on having him anywhere near me or Maya.’

Mr Chappell and other family members became concerned about bruises on the youngster’s body and texted Carr about them.

Multiple family members raised concerns about Maya's welfare with Maxine Shorten, her great aunt, so concerned she phoned social services

Daymond, 27, will be jailed for life after he murdered his partner's toddler by shaking her to death after learning his Universal Credit had been stopped

Carr, 24, was convicted of child cruelty by neglect and allowing the death of a child

Damning text messages of how Michael Daymond and Dana Carr covered up the abuse and downplayed the suspicions of family members were read to the jury

Her stepfather had texted her to say: ‘She has got bruises all over her.’

A few days later she messaged him, trying to blame the child for hurting herself. She commented: ‘I don’t know what to do she’s marking herself ridic to the point everyone is gonna think it’s me.’

The same day Daymond messaged Carr: ‘This be the last time am watcing her tho no way anyone blaming me.’

Adding: ‘Sorry but I’m not having anybody accuse me or you.’

Less than two weeks before Maya’s death Carr messaged Daymond’s mother ‘the full thing with Maya has him stressed I just dunno what to do.’

Adding: ‘Gonna have to do something because I can see him going on a bender and it’s not going to help anything.’

The day before the murder Maya was with Daymond alone at home.

Daymond texted Carr: ‘She has another bruise coming through.’

Carr replied: ‘Ah man bless her.’

Daymond sent a photo of Maya covered in bruises with the comment ‘state of it man.’

Carr replied: ‘WTF.’

Daymond then texted: ‘Babe I really hope you don’t think I’m doing this to her.’

Carr responded: ‘I would never ever think that.’

Later she sent Daymond a message: ‘Thanks so much again for helping me with Maya.’

On the day of the murder Daymond summoned Carr home as he called the emergency services.

Her messages back to him included ‘I’m coming’ and ‘please don’t leave me’ and ‘are you ok?’

She asked nothing about Maya.

Today Carr wept in the dock at Teesside Crown Court as a jury found her guilty of child cruelty and allowing a child to die in her care. 

Daymond was convicted of murder and child cruelty

After her daughter’s death, Carr refused to disclose any details to police about her muscular new lover, and although he had no criminal history that would have triggered police intervention, her decision to side with Daymond effectively condemned little Maya to death.

Her loyalty was totally misplaced. Daymond was a selfish womaniser who brought trouble to those around him.

Daymond already had a daughter from a previous relationship and despite moving in with Carr soon after meeting her he clearly had no intention of staying loyal.

At the time of the murder in September last year another woman texted him to say she had gone into labour with his baby and Daymond also set up a profile for the dating site ‘Plenty of Fish.’

A self-confessed user of steroids, Daymond had also been chased for ‘drugs debts.’

He fell out with his mother and stepfather for a while as people kept turning up at their door in Sunderland to collect payment. As a result they had windows broken, paint thrown across their home and fuses stolen, leaving them without electricity.

Mr Chappell’s concerns about his daughter living under the care of such a man were well founded.

Mr Chappell had been in a relationship with Carr, a care coordinator, for four years when Maya was born.

Giving evidence she described him as a ‘brilliant dad’ but said their relationship was ‘awful’ and they split.

Carr had been single for a while when she met Daymond in July last year through doing work at a friend’s pub. He regularly delivered gas bottles to the premises.

She fell head over heels, describing Daymond as ‘lovely and caring’, but nine weeks after they got together Daymond killed Maya.

On the day of the killing, Daymond had learned his Universal Credit had been stopped. He repeatedly tried to call the Department of Work and Pensions and went on its website.

Daymond, 27, attacked two-year-old Maya (pictured) with such force that damage found in her eyes was similar to that suffered by people in car accidents or who had fallen from a tall building, Teesside Crown Court was told

At 3.37pm he phoned Carr to tell her to come home and seconds later dialled 999.

When police officers arrived ten minutes later Maya appeared lifeless on the bedroom floor.

Daymond even called the DWP again when paramedics were fighting to save Maya’s life.

However, her injuries were unsurvivable.

She was flown to hospital by air ambulance in a critical condition and died two days later when life support was switched off.

Daymond claimed he was playing on a computer game in another room when he heard a bang and found Maya laid on the floor and presumed she had fallen out of bed.

He told police: ‘I couldn’t and wouldn’t hurt her.’

But his story was exposed as lies by science.

Home Office Pathologist Dr Louise Mulcahy, who conducted the post mortem, dismissed his explanation. She concluded the toddler died after being ‘subjected to a blunt force assault likely comprising shaking plus or minus a blunt force impact to the head and forceful blows to her abdomen.’

She also found around 50 bruises and marks on her body.

Indeed it was the appearance of unexplained bruises in the weeks before that caused her father and other relatives to be concerned for her welfare.

A month before the murder Mr Chappell was alarmed by bruising on Maya’s face, which Carr claimed was the result of a fall.

Carr then sent a text to her mother asking what caused the bruising as the girl had stayed with her overnight. The court head she was seeking to pass on blame for the injuries.

The mother later told Mr Chappell her faced was bruised by a park slide, but he didn’t believe her as they were the shape of adult fingers.

Mr Chappell also heard about threats to Daymond due to debts and made a Sarah’s Law request to police due to his growing concerns.

Again Carr covered up for her boyfriend and lied to Mr Chappell by claiming she was no longer with Daymond. She told him: ‘He isn’t here James, nor do I plan on having him anywhere near me or Maya.’

Carr’s stepfather Chris Fellows was the next to raise concerns with the mother over bruises on Maya’s body noticed at bath time.

Maya Chappell, two, suffered frequent assaults at the hands of Daymond. She was found with around 50 bruises and marks on her body

Mr Chappell was told Maya was ‘hitting herself.’ Another family member was told the bruises were down to ‘bumping into furniture.’

In the days before her death Carr cancelled Mr Chappell’s contact with Maya, pretending she was ill. In reality she knew he would see the bruises.

She also kept Maya off nursery, claiming she was on antibiotics.

More bruises were noticed when Maya spent the weekend with her grandmother and Mr Chappell.

And Maxine Shorten, Carr’s great aunt, told the court she was so concerned about bruising she made the decision to inform social services.

But the authorities were kept in the dark until it was too late.

On the Monday Maya was again kept off nursery, fearing the bruises would trigger a report to social services.

The day before the fatal attack Carr was out when Daymond was looking after Maya.

He sent a photo showing numerous bruises on the little girl.

Daymond texted: ‘Babe I really hope you don’t think I’m doing this to her.’

Carr replied: ‘I would never ever think that.’

Whatever the reason, blind love, naivety or self-denial, her response condemned poor Maya to death.


Related posts