Par­ents staged bus drama to hide baby’s death

The Wharf - - News -

The par­ents of a baby girl have been found guilty of caus­ing or al­low­ing her to die be­fore stag­ing her death on a bus in Strat­ford.

Ros­alin Baker, 25, and Jef­frey Wilt­shire, 52, of Mor­ris Av­enue, Manor Park, were cleared of mur­der of their three-month-old daugh­ter Imani Wilt­shire at the Old Bai­ley on Thurs­day.

Imani had been born pre­ma­turely on June 2, 2016, and spent 65 days in­cu­bated and ven­ti­lated in hos­pi­tal.

Po­lice be­lieve abuse be­gan soon af­ter Imani was dis­charged on Au­gust 5 and the cou­ple staged an elab­o­rate drama to cover up her death.

On Septem­ber 28, Baker strapped her dead child in a sling with a cloth cov­er­ing fa­cial in­juries.

She boarded a Route 25 bus with Wilt­shire giv­ing her the thumbs up as the doors closed.

Baker alerted pas­sen­gers to the fact her child wasn’t breath­ing. The bus be­came a scene of panic as a woman tried to per­form CPR. Amid the drama, Baker was im­pas­sive and on the phone and peo­ple as­sumed the woman at­tempt­ing to re­vive Imani was the mother.

Imani was taken to an east Lon­don hos­pi­tal where she was pro­nounced dead. Imani was al­ready cold to the touch, and rigor mor­tis had be­gun. A post-mortem ex­am­i­na­tion de­ter­mined cause of death as a head in­jury. An­other 40 sep­a­rate in­juries were iden­ti­fied across Imani’s body.

On Septem­ber 29, Baker gave a pre­pared state­ment say­ing she was “in shock” and “loved her baby and never hurt her”. She al­leged that Imani had fallen a few days be­fore but Baker had thought she was fine.

Det Chief Insp Gary Holmes said: “De­spite a chal­leng­ing start to life she fought to sur­vive but sadly her fight was short lived as she suf­fered at the hands of the very peo­ple who were sup­posed to love, nur­ture and pro­tect her.

“Many of those who stepped in to pro­vide med­i­cal as­sis­tance were left com­pletely dis­tressed when they re­alised their ef­forts to save Imani were fu­tile, not know­ing that the en­tire in­ci­dent had been staged.”

The cou­ple will be sen­tenced next month.

Wilt­shire gives a thumbs-up as the ruse be­gins

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