A mother arrested in Luton, who hid the body of a baby boy last seen more than a decade ago, has been sentenced to 21 months’ imprisonment for preventing his lawful burial.
Victoria Gayle, 32 was sentenced on Friday, 17 March, at Kingston Crown Court.
She had previously appeared for a ‘fitness to plea’ hearing where she entered a guilty plea.
Detectives from the Homicide and Major Crime Command (HMCC) launched an investigation in May 2016 into the disappearance of Victoria’s son, Kyzer Gayle.
Concerns about Kyzer’s whereabouts were escalated during the course of a case review which was looking into the death of Victoria’s daughter Ava at an address in Barnet in 2015, which the Coroner ruled as accidental.
Little was known about Kyzer, and enquiries established that he was last seen in 2004. On 31 May 2016, detectives found the remains of a child.
Detective Chief Inspector Noel McHugh, who led the investigation, said: “This has been a very complex and at times very distressing investigation for all concerned. Kyzer Gayle was not seen for over a decade and Victoria Gayle admitted preventing lawful burial when faced with compelling evidence.
“It has now been concluded that the skeletal remains are those of Kyzer.
“I remain committed to establishing the circumstances around how Kyzer died.”
Detectives attended an address in Fryent Crescent, NW9 on 30 May 2016 and began an extensive search of the property.
At the address, a 51-year-old woman was arrested in connection with the investigation. Victoria Gayle was located in Luton and initially arrested on suspicion of murder.
She claimed that Kyzer’s father was a traveller whom she met through a friend and, when Kyzer was around ten months old, it was decided that this man should retain full custody.
She told police that this was the last time she saw her son and she had no further contact with the man.
In a shed at Fryent Creseent officers found a cardboard box and inside was a cocoon of duct tape which contained the remains of a child aged around 14 months at the time of his death. The child was seated in a cut down push chair.
On 2 June 2016, Gayle and the 51-year-old woman were further arrested on suspicion of preventing a lawful and decent burial and a 53-year-old man was also arrested for the same offence. A post-mortem examination could not determine the cause of death.
Detectives have taken the unusual step of appealing for information and for witnesses to come forward following today’s sentencing.
They are keen to trace anyone who might be able to assist them in building a picture as to where Victoria Gayle was living and the relationships she was in, no matter how casual, between 2004 and May 2013.
The 51-year-old woman and 53-year-old man arrested will have no further action taken against them.
A 38-year old man arrested on Friday, 16 September 2016 on suspicion of preventing a lawful burial and perverting the course justice remains on bail until a date in mid-April pending further enquiries.
Anyone with any information is asked to contact the incident room on 020 8785 8099 or police via 101 and @MetCC.
To give information anonymously contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or visit crimestoppers-uk.org.