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A three-year-old girl allegedly murdered by her "uncaring" mother and the woman's boyfriend was "dead before the (999) call was made", a court has heard.

Kaylee-Jayde Priest was found dead at the flat where she lived with her mother, Nicola Priest, on August 9 last year.

The youngster, described in court as a "happy child", died from serious chest and abdominal injuries.

Later medical examinations showed she had also suffered historical injuries including broken ribs, lower leg fractures and a broken sternum, Birmingham Crown Court heard.

Priest, 22, and 21-year-old Callum Redfern, who prosecutors have alleged was in a "close sexual relationship" with the child's mother, are accused of Kaylee's murder, and a separate alternative charge of manslaughter

Jurors heard claims that Priest would hit Kaylee around the head and refer to her as a "brat", while the youngster was also heard crying "in a fearful tone".

On one occasion, neighbours in a flat below recalled hearing a bang above and then Kaylee crying, before allegedly hearing Priest say: "I'll just say she fell off the bed."

Kaylee-Jayde Priest, three, was found dead with serious chest and abdominal injuries
(Image: Birmingham Live WS)

The same residents claimed they noticed that "when Kaylee cried, the response appeared to be to drown out her crying with music".

In a text message exchange on July 24 2020, days before Kaylee's death, Priest told Redfern: "I'm gonna kill her… because she keeps leaving the living room or going in the kitchen, so I've paled (hit) her one and smacked her for s****ing in her nappy".

Redfern said: "Good – give her one from me."

Priest replied: "I will, babe."

Three days later, Redfern messaged Priest saying: "I'm going to keep the little brat away from me… sick of your spunking daughter."

Jurors heard the Crown's claim that such messages were indicative of the "uncaring attitude from Priest and Redfern towards Kaylee".

Opening the case on Tuesday, prosecution barrister Andrew Smith QC said: "At 11.11am on August 9 2020, Nicola Priest dialled 999 to summon an ambulance to her home address in Kingshurst (Solihull) to treat her daughter.

"Kaylee-Jayde Priest, her three-and-a-half-year-old daughter, was dead before the call was made.

Kaylee-Jayde Priest, pictured with step-dad Dan Gregory, was found dead in Stonebridge Crescent
(Image: Birmingham Live WS)

"The prosecution case is that her death was caused by her having received serious injuries to her chest and abdomen in a sustained assault on August 8 of last year.

"That intentional assault occurred when both of the defendants were alone with Kaylee-Jayde."

He added: "Kaylee-Jayde was pronounced dead at 11.25am on August 9.

"The prosecution contends the deliberate unlawful actions of Callum Redfern and Nicola Priest caused her death, and that they are responsible for her murder."

Mr Smith said neighbours had spoken of hearing parties "lasting many hours" and more shouting by Redfern, but also Priest, with one resident claiming "the tone of her voice seemed angry, and did not express love or care".

From the time Priest moved in to the flat in mid-2019, nearby residents claimed they heard her "shouting with real regularity" at Kaylee, including comments like "Shut up", "Go away" or "Leave me alone" – and "never anything positive or kind".

Floral tributes outside the home where Kaylee was found dead in August
(Image: Darren Quinton/Birmingham Live)

In April 2020, the mother of Priest's ex-partner "noticed a circular bruise-type mark of about one inch on Kaylee's cheekbone".

Priest allegedly told her: "She's been a little shit this morning."

In early July, a family friend allegedly saw Priest hit Kaylee across the head "with the back of her hand", and later "pulled Kaylee's hair" when the child went to get food from the fridge.

The prosecutor said that, on the evening of August 8 2020, Redfern and a male friend went to Priest's third-floor flat with a bottle of vodka.

The defendants deny any wrongdoing and the trial continues at Birmingham Crown Court
(Image: Birmingham Live)

While there, Redfern smoked cannabis and, with Priest, put Kaylee to bed.

Some minutes later, Redfern's friend "heard Kaylee whinging – calling out, saying she wanted to come back out of her bedroom and carry on playing".

As Kaylee's cries continued, Priest's bedroom door was heard to "open and shut".

The Crown's barrister said: "About 10 minutes after, he heard Mr Redfern shout 'Kaylee's been sick, Nicky, let's get her in the bath'."

Mr Smith said: "He heard no more crying after Kaylee had been put back to bed."

Priest, of Poplar Avenue, Edgbaston, Birmingham, and Redfern, of Temple Street, Dudley, West Midlands, are also accused of causing or allowing the death of a child and cruelty to a child, between June 12 and August 3 2020.

They deny any wrongdoing and the trial continues.