Dad-of-two found guilty of murdering Madison Horn

Kevin Park was given a life sentence at the High Court in Glasgow. Picture: PA
Kevin Park was given a life sentence at the High Court in Glasgow. Picture: PA
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A DAD-of-two was today convicted of the brutal murder of two-year-old Madison Horn in her own home and ordered to serve at least 22 years in jail.

Kevin Park launched a murderous attack on the toddler while he was babysitting her.

He battered the child’s head off a wall at least twice, punched and stamped on her and prosecutors believe he may have also used a broken pool cue in the violent and sustained attack.

Violent Park also grabbed or pinched the ears of tiny Madison who weighed 13.3kg and was 90.5cms tall, causing horrific bruising.

Her skull was fractured and she suffered internal bleeding and tearing to her liver. In total she had 65 separate injuries.

At the High Court in Glasgow Park, 27, was given a life sentence by judge Michael O’Grady QC.

Judge O’Grady told Park: It is the misfortune of those of us who practise in these courts to see and hear of, day after day, the dreadful things that human beings can do, one to another.

“But even by those awful standards what you have done is wicked beyond all imagining.

“A child in your care looked to you for comfort, protection and probably even love. And, instead for some reason quite beyond comprehension, you inflicted upon her a callous, cruel and no doubt terrifying death.

“It is said so often - because it is true - no sentence that I can impose can change anything for Madison and those who loved her and from whom she has been taken.

“In reality, no sentence I can impose can truly reflect the sheer awfulness of what you have done.”

Judge O’Grady added: “The question of when you will be released – if indeed you are ever released – is not a matter for me. That will be a matter for the Parole Board.

As the jury of nine men and six woman delivered their verdict finding Park unanimously guilty of murder, members of Madison’s family shouted: “Yes.”

Her mother Ann Marie White sobbed in the public benches.

Park showed no emotion.

As he was led away to start his sentence there was a shout of “Evil b*****d.”

Advocate depute Jennifer Bain, prosecuting, told the court that Park had 38 previous convictions including a number for violence.

At the time he carried out the murder Park was Ann Marie White’s boyfriend and had recently moved into her home in Croftangry Road, Kelty, Fife.

He was babysitting Madison while her mother went to a friend’s birthday celebration in Cowdenbeath.

Ann Marie White told the High Court in Glasgow her daughter was a happy child.

The mum said when she left the house at 2.30pm that day Madison was laughing.

She added: “She was hyper, but she was fine... jumping on the bed, laughing.

“She had been trying to put my make up on as I had left it on the bed.”

Just three-and-a-half hours later Madison was lying fatally injured after being attacked by Park.

A woman in a nearby garden who was playing with her grandsons said she heard a child’s piercing scream just before 6pm.

At 6.15pm, Park dialled 999. The operator who spoke to him and the paramedics and police described him as unemotional and not interested in the condition of Madison.

One police officer even said that Park was more interested in rolling a cigarette.

Madison was rushed to hospital and died from her injuries at 10.50pm.

Forensic experts who examined the house found two indentations on the hallway wall.

On one of these indentations one of Madison’s hairs was found and in each indentation there was a large amount of her DNA.

Park did not give evidence. He denied causing the horrific injuries to Madison and claimed she had injured herself before lunchtime on a treadmill and then fell off a bed which collapsed as she jumped on it at 5.15pm

However, pathologists said that the injuries suffered by Madison to her head and abdomen would have resulted in her very quickly lapsing into unconsciousness and she would have been unable to walk, talk and eat after them as Park claimed she did.

He said it was only after 6pm that he noticed her lips had turned blue and she was unconscious. Park said that minutes earlier she had been watching a cartoon and eating chips.

But the jury did not believe his version of events.

Judge O’Grady told the jury: “This was a deeply distressing case. You have been required to see and hear things no sane person would ever wish to hear.”

In a statement after the verdict, the family of the tragic two-year old said: “This has been a very hard and difficult time for the family and friends of Madison.

“We are pleased that justice has been served, but it will never be enough as Anne Marie is the one stuck with the life sentence of never seeing beautiful Madison again.”

The family also thanked those who had been “so supportive and generous throughout this hard process”.