Dad accused of murdering three-month-old daughter ‘lied about her parentage to police’, court told
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A man accused of murdering his three-month-old daughter lied to police about being her father as he was afraid social services would get involved, a court has heard.
The Old Bailey was read a transcript of 52-year-old Jeffrey Wiltshire’s interviews with police officers in the days after little Imani’s death.
Prosecutors argue that the girl, who was found unresponsive on a bus in Stratford, had been killed by her parents who then tried to cover it up.
Jurors heard how when he was initially arrested at his home in Morris Avenue, Manor Park, he said that he did not know who the girl’s dad was and that he and Imani’s mum, Rosalin Baker, “don’t speak about this kind of thing”.
But when asked in an interview whether a transcription of his comments were accurate, the court heard how he admitted that he had lied, and said: “It’s cos of child protection.”
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The court heard how he went on to explain that he feared social services would take a negative view of his contact with Imani, given that he suffered from depression and also used heroin.
He told officers that he and Baker, 25, had a “boyfriend and girlfriend” time relationship, and added: “I had a few [other] girls as well”.
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The transcript revealed how Wiltshire said that Baker “would never harm a hair on her head” and that she was a wanted baby who he claimed had breathing difficulties since birth.
“If we didn’t want Imani she wouldn’t have had a pretty name,” he told officers.
“We wouldn’t have had her.”
The court also heard how Wiltshire told officers he was “proud” to have fathered 23 children - some of whom had made him a grandfather.
“I’ve got 23 kids. I’m proud that at 52 years old I’m still popping them out.”
The court heard how he told officers that he and Baker had walked up to the bus stop on the morning of September 28 last year, with Baker topping up her Oyster card and purchasing phone credit from a shop on the corner of Church Road on the way.
He said that she had boarded the 25 to go to Bow.
When officers showed Wiltshire pictures of Baker boarding the bus, and of Imani, the court heard how he cried and kissed one of the photos.
Baker and Wiltshire deny murder and causing or allowing the death of a child.
The trial continues.