Leon Jayet-Cole

Photo of Leon Jayet-Cole, a little boy with blond hair.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.
Disability: Autism.

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.

Case Status:
James Stedman Roberts (Stepfather), charged with murder, committed suicide while out on bail.

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