Thursday, 18 May 2017

Parents jailed for 11 years after staging baby's death on a bus in London

A couple who attempted to cover up the abuse of their baby daughter by staging her death on a bus have been jailed for 11 years.

They were both sentenced to 11 years after trying to conceal the fact that they had tortured the infant to death at home.

Following a trial at the Old Bailey last month Jeffrey Wiltshire, 52, and Rosalin Baker, 25, were convicted of causing or allowing the death of 16-week-old Imani in September last year, but cleared of her murder.

Jurors were told that in the week of her death, Imani, who was on the child protection register, suffered 40 fractured ribs, a broken wrist and terrible head injuries.

Rather than take her to hospital, an Old Bailey court heard the pair, who were both drug addicts and living on benefits, formed a "devious" plan to get away with their horrendous abuse of the child by faking her falling ill on a bus.

Woman stages baby's death on a bus

CCTV pictures showed Wiltshire kissing Baker and giving her a thumbs-up before she boarded a bus to Stratford, east London, carrying baby Imani on her chest in a sling.

During the course of the journey, Baker suddenly asked for help from other passengers for a problem that she said she had just identified with her daughter.

Finding the baby was not breathing, they did all they could to help, including giving her CPR and calling an ambulance.

Imani was pronounced dead in hospital and her parents went on to give a false account of what happened to police, even denying that Wiltshire was the father, the court heard.

CCTV of a woman helping Rosalin Baker

During the trial, Baker blamed her violent and controlling boyfriend, accusing him of forcing her onto the bus with the dead infant.

But Wiltshire, a former rapper who claimed to have fathered 25 children, insisted: "I'm not a life taker, I'm a baby maker."
On sentencing Judge Nicholas Hilliard QC said that Imani had been born prematurely and her last days must have been "terrifying, painful and bewildering."

He told her parents: "Both of you at all times put your interests before those of a helpless and dependent baby for whom you were responsible."

He said they had told so many lies about what happened that their credibility was "always in doubt."

Imani's fatal head injuries were likened to those from a road crash or falling from a first-floor window, he added.

Judge Hilliard added that even though the jury could not be sure who was responsible, given the extent of her injuries he concluded that whoever had done it intended really serious bodily harm.

He described the cover-up on the bus as a "cynical charade".

"You used the dead body of your daughter as part of an attempt to conceal what really happened, " he said.

A passenger on the bus that day tried to save baby Imani by giving her CPR. Speaking anonymously following the hearing she said she was still haunted by what happened.

"I tried to give first aid but there was no reaction from the baby," she said. "I told the bus driver to stop and to call the police and the ambulance.

"Everyone was shocked on the bus. One lady started praying. I cannot sleep anymore. It breaks my heart."

SKY     News.