Police released this CCTV footage
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, both of Morris Avenue, Manor Park, were cleared of murder but found guilty of causing or allowing the death of their three-month-old daughter Imani Wiltshire at the Old Bailey on Thursday, April 20.
Imani had been born prematurely at 28 weeks on June 2, 2016 and spent 65 days incubated and ventilated in hospital.
During this period, Baker visited her 22 times. Wiltshire did not come and see his daughter once.
Police believe abuse began soon after Imani was discharged on August 5.
On September 28, Baker went to a nearby shop in Church Road at around 9.30am. Imani was strapped in a sling with a cloth covering her face.
Baker admitted in court that Imani was already dead at this point.
The cloth was draped over her daughter’s face to try and hide the fact she was dead, as well as cover up a significant injury to her right eye and a visible head injury.
Baker topped up her Oyster card before leaving and was joined by Wiltshire, who helped her board a Route 25 bus towards Bow Church.
As the two parted ways, Wiltshire gave Baker the thumbs up. Police believe this was a sign to begin the ruse.
Baker sat on the lower deck of the bus and began to use her mobile phone. After around 20 minutes, she looked at her daughter for the first time before beckoning another woman passenger over to her.
Baker told the woman that Imani had stopped breathing. The woman tried to help the baby before alerting the bus driver while another passenger called the London Ambulance Service and the police.
A second woman tried to perform CPR on Imani. She later recalled that the baby’s lips were cold and that Baker remained on the phone the entire time that others were trying to save her daughter’s life.
Extracts from the 999 call
According to the police, several passengers became incredibly distressed when it was clear that Imani could not be saved. Many passengers believed one of the women trying to save Imani must be her mother, as Baker sat emotionless in her seat.
The bus was stopped in Stratford High Street, at the junction with Carpenters Road. Imani was taken to an east London hospital where she was pronounced dead. At this point 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, including fractures to her ribs, head and wrist that were consistent with non-accidental injury.
Baker and Wiltshire were arrested in connection with their daughter’s death and charged on October 1.
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.
Detective Chief Inspector Gary Holmes, from the Homicide and Major Crime Command said: “The loss of any child is tragic but to know that baby Imani was tortured and was probably in considerable pain in her last few hours is heart-rendering.
“Imani was a premature baby and from the very moment she was born the odds were stacked against her.
“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.
“Baker and Wiltshire orchestrated the most devious of plans in an attempt to cover up the abuse that had been inflicted upon their daughter.
“Their ruse quickly unravelled when medical professionals were able to determine that Imani had probably died up to 24 hours previously and with this overwhelming and compelling evidence charges against the two were swiftly brought.
“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.
“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.
“Baker and Wiltshire were naïve in their thinking and brazenly thought they could get away with such a heinous crime.
“Neither has shown any remorse for their actions and I am pleased with the convictions that have been handed down today.
“Finally justice has been obtained for Imani.”
Baker and Wiltshire will be sentenced at the Old Bailey on Thursday, May 18.
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