Name: Leon Jayet-Cole.
Died: May 28, 2015.
Age at death: 5.
Cause of death: Head injury due to blunt-force trauma.
Location: Papanui, Christchurch, New Zealand.
Leon was a “beautiful, happy-spirited kid” who made his family laugh with the quirky things he said. He had learned to speak and learned to read when he was four, and at five years old was enrolled in school. His obituary calls him the “chief mischief maker of his brothers and sisters Lucas, Nadia, Anabelle, Fabian, and Liam; Giane, Daniel and James.” He loved pillow-fighting and riding his tricycle. He had to have his toast cut just right, or he wouldn’t eat it. His favorite movie was Frozen.
He hadn’t spoken until he was four, but then he started speaking, reading, and doing math all at once. Leon was a bookworm who would start reading the moment he woke. When they saw how fast he was learning, his family began calling him “Superman”. He loved school, which he attended for half-days, and Dr. Seuss was his favorite author. He had a brother who was also autistic.
Leon’s stepfather allegedly beat him to the point that he suffered a severe head injury; despite the head injury, no one sought medical care for him right away. Leon survived on life support in the hospital for two days before he died. His organs were transplanted and have saved the lives of five people.
Leon may have been abused regularly for some time; he and his older brother had both been treated for head injuries at the hospital, but they had all been written off as accidental.
James Stedman Roberts (Stepfather), charged with murder, committed suicide while out on bail.
Autism Memorial: Leon Jayet-Cole
Coroner: Agencies missed red flags before autistic Christchurch boy Leon Jayet-Cole’s death
Stepfather hit 5-year-old ‘four times a week’, but mum saw nothing
Police could have done more to stop violent stepfather
Christchurch schoolboy Leon Jayet-Cole hospitalised with head injury months before death
Concerns raised with CYF before Leon Jayet-Cole’s death
File shows tragedy of Leon Jayet-Cole unfolding
Funeral for man accused of killing autistic boy
Leon Jayet-Cole, the little New Zealand boy whose gravestone has his murderer’s name on it
Man accused of killing child found dead
Man accused of murdering autistic boy found dead
Warning signs in CYF reports before Leon Jayet-Cole’s alleged murder
Inquest into death of Leon Jayet-Cole, 5, hears from step-dad who died awaiting murder trial
Mother accepts dead husband killed autistic son