A COUPLE have been found guilty of torturing their 17-week-old child and staging her death on an east London bus.
Rosalin Baker, 25, and Jeffrey Wiltshire, 52, both of Morris Avenue, E12, next to Little Ilford Park, were found guilty at the Old Bailey on Thursday, April 20, of causing or allowing the death, or serious physical harm, of their daughter Imani Wiltshire. They were both cleared of murder.
A post-mortem found the baby had suffered more than 40 injuries – including fractures to her ribs, head and wrist – all consistent with ’non-accidental injury’.
A trial heard how Baker carried the dead girl onto a bus last September, then pretended she had suddenly stopped breathing.
DCI Gary Holmes, of the Homicide and Major Crime Command Unit, said: “The level of violence and cruelty inflicted on such a young child is something that I have never come across during the course of my career and I hope never to witness anything like this again. Neither has shown any remorse for their actions.”
The jury heard that Imani, born prematurely at 28 weeks on June 2, 2016, was incubated and supported by a ventilator for more than two months.
Baker visited her daughter just 22 times in 65 days. Wiltshire never visited.
Imani was discharged on August 5. Detectives believe the abuse began soon after.
Eight weeks later, on September 28, Baker entered a convenience store in Church Road, E12, with Imani strapped to a sling and her face covered with a cloth.
Baker later admitted that Imani was already dead. The cloth was used to hide a significant injury to her right eye and head.
Baker topped up her Oyster card, then met Wiltshire before leaving him and boarding a 25 bus towards Bow Church. As the they parted ways, Wiltshire gave Baker a thumbs up.
Baker took a seat on the lower deck and began using her mobile phone. Roughly 20 minutes later she called a female passenger over to help, saying Imani had stopped breathing.
The woman immediately took Imani and tried to provide medical assistance. Another passenger called police and paramedics and a second woman attempted CPR.
Police said many passengers mistook one of the women who provided medical assistance for Imani’s mother due to her emotional anguish, while Baker sat in her seat emotionless.
One of the women who assisted later said Imani’s lips were cold and Baker remained on the phone throughout attempts to save her daughter.
Imani was taken to an east London hospital and pronounced dead. Medics noticed she was cold to the touch and Rigor Mortis had set in, indicating she had already been dead for some time.
A special post-mortem examination at St Thomas’ Hospital found she died from a head injury.
DCI Holmes said: “Baker and Wiltshire orchestrated the most devious of plans in an attempt to cover up the abuse that had been inflicted upon their daughter.
“The events of that day will have a lasting and devastating impact on the many passengers on board the bus. 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.
“Baker misled these good Samaritans and gave no thought to anyone but herself as she callously remained on her mobile phone throughout.”
Baker and Wiltshire are due to be sentenced at the Old Bailey on Thursday, May 18.