Young mum ‘staged baby’s death on Stratford bus’, court hears

Rosalin Baker and Jeffrey Wiltshire are on trial at the Old Bailey (Picture: Clara Molden/PA Images)

Rosalin Baker and Jeffrey Wiltshire are on trial at the Old Bailey (Picture: Clara Molden/PA Images) - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

A young mother accused of murdering her premature baby daughter staged the three-month-old’s death on a bus to cover up abuse, a court has heard.

Jurors were told how Rosalin Baker, 25, was given the “thumbs up” by her 52-year-old boyfriend, Jeffrey Wiltshire, as she boarded the number 25 in Stratford, on September 28 last year.

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 little Imani - who was on the child protection register – was already dead after being subjected to at least three severe attacks.

Prosecutor Duncan Atkinson QC told jurors this morning: “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.

“As those members of the public, and then paramedics, sought to help her child, Baker sat to one side and sought to contact first her sister and then Wiltshire.”

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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 little girl to live with Wiltshire in his bedsit in Morris Avenue, Manor Park, after leaving her mother’s home in Colchester, Essex.

Mr Atkinson said the injuries inflicted in those days would have caused the baby “very significant pain and distress” which would have been obvious to any parent.

But neither defendant had sought medical help or done anything to prevent further injuries, he said, adding that if Baker and Wiltshire 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 court heard how Imani was born prematurely at 28 weeks and five days on June 2 last year at Newham University Hospital.

While in a high dependency unit, medical staff and social services became concerned Baker had not bonded with her daughter, Mr Atkinson said, and Imani was put on the child protection register on August 15.

Jurors were told the baby had not been seen by medics since she was discharged from hospital on August 5 and Baker had refused to say who Imani’s father was and where she was living.

Baker and Wiltshire both deny murder and causing or allowing the death of their daughter.

The trial continues.