Sunday 19 November 2017

Baby found 'still and cold' allegedly suffered from head injuries after at least 'three severe attacks'

Stock image Photo: PA
Stock image Photo: PA
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

A mother accused of taking her dead baby on a bus to cover up her murder broke down in court as she told of finding her child "cold" and "still" in bed.

Rosalin Baker (25) said she was trapped in a controlling and abusive relationship with cocaine and heroin addict Jeffrey Wiltshire, father of her daughter Imani.

On the morning of September 28 last year, Wiltshire (52) was seen giving Baker a thumbs-up as she boarded a bus to Stratford in east London with the body of the 16-week-old girl strapped to her chest in a sling.

The prosecution allege Baker alerted shocked commuters that something was wrong with her baby in an attempt to conceal the truth of what had happened at home.

Giving evidence, Baker said she woke up to find Imani lying at the bottom of the bed she shared with Wiltshire in Newham, east London.

She got up to make a bottle of milk and called to her baby.

She told jurors at the Old Bailey: "I was calling her and then I walked over to her and looked at her and she was still. I touched her and she was cold.

"When I looked at Imani she had a big black eye.

"When I saw her I started screaming. I called Jeffrey and woke him up."

Baker began weeping in the witness box and trial judge Nicholas Hilliard QC called for a break.

Earlier, Baker told the court that Wiltshire took drugs every day, would control their benefits payments and would beat and threaten her.

Between September 19 and the day of Imani's death, she did not notice anything wrong with her child, although she said the baby would scream and cry when she was left alone with Wiltshire.

She said: "The only time I was a bit concerned was when I went out shopping and I came back and I heard her scream."

Of her abusive partner, she said: "When he got his drugs he's fine, he's smoking dope. When he's not smoking his drugs he's angry, abusing me. He was upset and angry about the drugs.

"There was a night that he could not have drugs. He woke me up saying his stomach was hurting and he was in a lot of pain and needed something to smoke. He told me to go and look for some money. I said I'm not getting up. He started hitting me saying I'm evil."

Asked how he was towards Imani, Baker said: "In front of me, he was fine."

On the day of Imani's death, Baker said she had not taken any cocaine or heroin herself although she could not remember if she had taken drugs the day before.

Imani, who was born prematurely and put on the Child Protection Register, was allegedly subjected to at least three severe attacks which left her with 40 fractures to her ribs, a fractured wrist and terrible head injuries.

In the week before Imani's death, Baker had taken the baby to live with Wiltshire in his bedsit, after leaving her mother's home in Colchester, Essex, the court was told.

On arrest, Wiltshire initially denied being Imani's father. He later admitted she was his child and explained that social workers would not approve of contact as he had mental health problems and smoked heroin and marijuana.

Baker and Wiltshire, who claims to have fathered 23 children, deny murder and causing or allowing the death of their child.

Press Association

Promoted Links

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editors Choice

Also in World News