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Mother 'staged baby's death on Stratford bus to cover up child's murder'

Evening Standard logo Evening Standard 14/03/2017 Hatty Collier

The baby was found unresponsive on a number 25 bus in Stratford. © The Independent The baby was found unresponsive on a number 25 bus in Stratford. A young mother calmly staged the death of her baby on a London bus in a bid to cover up the horrific abuse and murder of the child at home, a court has heard.

Rosalin Baker, 25, was given the "thumbs up" by her 52-year-old boyfriend, Jeffrey Wiltshire, as she boarded the number 25 service in Stratford, holding the body of their 16-week-old daughter, Imani, jurors were told.

She went on to act out a "nightmare" charade, asking passengers for help and saying her baby had just fallen ill, the Old Bailey heard.

But Imani, who was born prematurely, was already dead after being subjected to at least three severe attacks and flung on the floor, jurors were told.

Prosecutor Duncan Atkinson QC told jurors: "During the course of the bus journey, Baker suddenly sought help from her fellow passengers for a problem that she said she had just identified with her daughter.

"Those members of the public, presented with the nightmare of an infant who was not breathing, did all they could to help.

"They were panicking and distressed. In contrast, Baker was noted to be cold and calm.”

Mr Atkinson told the court that as passengers on the bus and paramedics tried to help the child, Baker sat to one side contacting her sister and then her boyfriend.

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 baby had a broken wrist from her arm being "pulled or twisted" and at least 40 rib fractures from her chest being squeezed as she was shaken.

She also had a fractured skull and brain injury "as the result of being thrown against the floor or an upright surface" which led to her death, Mr Atkinson said.

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

Mr Atkinson said neither defendant south to medical help for the child and that the "only realistic candidates" for causing Imani's death were Wiltshire and Baker.

He said if they were both not responsible for the fatal injury, at least one of them failed to intervene.

Baker had been receiving "intervention" from medical professionals and social services since the birth up until the last week of the baby's life, jurors were told.

The couple deny murder and causing or allowing the death of their child on September 28 last year.

Additional reporting by Press Association.

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