A MAN who battered a Bournemouth toddler 17 years ago has today been jailed for life for murdering a baby.

Kevin Eves was known as Kevin Forbes when he smashed a youngster's head against a wall in Bournemouth in 2006.

Eves, then 24, was jailed for nine years by a judge who called him a "sadistic bully" for the attack, which left the toddler "close to death".

Today Eves, who is now 37, was handed life behind bars with a minimum term of 20 years for killing his baby daughter.

Jurors at the Old Bailey were told he inflicted multiple injuries on eight-week-old Harper Denton before smothering her at the family home in Wixams, near Bedford, on June 12 last year.

The court heard Eves had been jailed for causing grievous bodily harm and assaulting the little boy in Bournemouth.

But he kept the details secret from his new partner, Cherinea Denton, 34, whom he met on the internet.

The victim in that case suffered "life-threatening" head injuries and fractures to the elbow.

Eves had claimed the young boy was injured when he fell to the floor from a washing machine while he was looking after him.

But the injuries were said to be consistent with the child being "swung forcefully by the arms such that his head impacted against a surface such as the floor or a wall".

In mitigation, Jo Sidhu QC said Eves had a "warm, supportive childhood" but his life went "awry" in his early 20s when he got involved in taking drugs.

Eves, of Nightingale Court, Wixams, had denied murdering their baby daughter but was found guilty by a jury on Tuesday.

Sentencing him to life with a minimum term of 20 years, Mrs Justice O'Farrell said the "protracted and escalating violent attacks" Eves carried out were "cruel, brutal and vicious".

She said that, after being "joyful and excited" about his partner's unplanned pregnancy, Eves subjected his daughter to a series of escalating violence over her short life.

The judge told him: "Unfortunately you did not have the instincts to protect and nurture that most parents have.

"You were insensitive to the fragility of your baby and you were unable or unwilling to put her needs before your own comfort. You had uncontrolled rage."