A distraught mum has spoken out after her daughter was killed by her partner – when he threw a mobile phone at her NECK after their date night.
Lloyd Birkby, 27, launched his phone at Levi Ogden, 26, and the blow to her throat caused her to suffer a brain hemorrhage and later die.
The pair had been out for dinner and drinks in Halifax, West Yorks., with friends before they began arguing as the night ended.
As they started to head back to their home in Elland, West Yorks,. Birkby threw his mobile at her in a vicious rage.
After it hit Levi’s throat, she was knocked unconscious and she was rushed to hospital.
Mum-of-two Levi was pronounced dead in hospital shortly after. Her cause of death was found to be cardiac arrest, caused by the brain hemorrhage.
Birkby was arrested and charged with murder in November 2019 – a charge he denied.
He appeared at Bradford Crown Court in April 2020 and pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter.
He was sentenced to five years after causing the death of his partner of nine years
Levi’s heartbroken mum, Clare Ogden, 44, thinks the five year sentence Birkby received for killing her daughter is ‘pitiful’, and is scared of the ‘vicious temper’ he has and what it could mean on his release.
Clare, a retail worker at her local One Stop, from Elland, West Yorks., said: “Levi was such a character, and an amazing mum to her two kids, who now sadly have to live their life without her.
“He took her from us, but will be out in a few years to start his life again – it’s pitiful.
“She was beautiful – although she never believed it herself – and I still can’t believe she’s gone.”
Levi and Birkby had known each other since school and were a couple since the age of 17.
“At first I liked him,” Clare said.
“He was a nice enough boy, and you could see that he made Levi happy.
“But as they got older, I didn’t like how he treated her and tried to tell her she could do better.”
Clare – who has four other children – claims Birkby was ‘manipulative’ and liked to play ‘mind-games’ with her daughter.
“He’d always break up with her, walking in and out of her life as he pleased, and call her nasty things,” Clare said.
“He’d even spit at her and on her windows, often losing his temper and trashing the house or emptying the wheelie bins everywhere.
“I didn’t like it, but she always asked me to trust her judgement.”
Levi and Birkby went on to have two children together, now aged six and three, who were ‘her life’.
“She adored those kids,” Clare said.
“They were always immaculate, with their hair nicely done and the cutest outfits.
“The kids were Levi’s pride and joy – they were what she lived for.”
Levi, a full-time mum, took pride in every aspect of her life, and enjoyed making her home in Elland, West Yorkshire, look beautiful as well as her two children.
“Levi wasn’t afraid of telling the truth – she had a big personality,” Clare said fondly of her late daughter.
“She rubbed some people up the wrong way, but she was black and white and took ownership of everything she did.
“Everyone went to her for advice, and she would help anyone in need.”
In the early hours on November 3 last year, Birkby and Levi got into a row after a night out in Halifax, West Yorkshire.
They’d been out for ‘date night’ – dinner followed by drinks with friends – when Birkby assaulted Levi by throwing a phone at close range.
It hit her in the neck and knocked her unconscious – a move which the coroner explained to Clare had caused her main artery severe damage, therefore causing a brain haemorrhage.
Levi was discovered dying in the street and given CPR at the scene by a ‘street angel’ – although it was sadly too late for her to be saved.
“I couldn’t believe it when I got the call,” Clare said.
“I knew he’d done something – but never imagined it would end like this.”
Clare rushed to the scene and was told her daughter was unconscious and in a critical state – before the young mum-of-two was tragically pronounced dead in hospital despite the best efforts of medics.
“She’d called me at around 10pm that night asking if I wanted to join them for drinks – but I was so tired I said I’d catch up with her the next day,” Clare said.
“The last thing she said to me was ‘night mum, love you’.
“For a while I couldn’t stop thinking – what if I’d have gone, would she still be alive? – but you can’t do that to yourself.”
Birkby, of Elland, West Yorkshire, was arrested at the scene and charged with murder the next day.
It was heard at a court hearing how the blow to her neck caused a haemorrhage and bleeding into her brain, which led to cardiac arrest.
Clare was assured by the coroner that her daughter ‘wouldn’t have known what happened’ – a small comfort in otherwise grave circumstances.
Birkby pleaded guilty to manslaughter on March 18 and was jailed for five years when he appeared at Bradford Crown Court via video link on April 8.
“When they told me how long he’d got, I couldn’t believe it – none of us could,” Clare said.
“I’ve seen burglars go to prison for longer than that, and people who evade council tax – it’s disgusting.
“Our judicial system is terrible – it’s not enough for the loss of my child.
“He’ll be out in under three years, and he lives right down the street – who knows what he’ll do?
“In court he said he has the mental capacity of an 11-year-old – but an 11-year-old isn’t capable of what he’s done, and I’m scared for what he’ll do next when he loses his temper.”
Clare thinks the outcome would have been different if the case had gone to trial and ‘everything relevant’ could have been used as evidence, and wants to appeal the sentence in Levi’s memory.
She and Levi’s four siblings are now making sure they do what’s best for her two young children, and still speak about their mum in order to ‘keep her alive’.
“Levi had an incredibly good heart, and was a wonderful mum,” Clare said.
“She’ll never be forgotten, we’ll make sure of that – but the family is definitely emptier without her.”
The family have set up a petition to appeal Lloyd Birky’s sentence: