Katie Crowder was found guilty of murder when the jury reached a unanimous verdict at Nottingham Crown Court today (Tuesday, December 8) following a 14-day trial.
Crowder, aged 26, of Wharmby Avenue, Mansfield, committed the crime at the home she shared with her daughter Gracie in the early hours of March 6 this year after taking the equivalent of three large lines of cocaine and then watched the toddler die before raising the alarm.
Crowder rushed to her parents’ home on the same street and shouted, “She’s dead, she’s dead,” when her mother opened the door.
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The court was played a recording of the 999 call made by Crowder’s parents and their desperate attempts to resuscitate the little girl while they waited frantically for paramedics to arrive.
She was then rushed to King’s Mill Hospital where she was pronounced dead shortly afterwards.
Questioning Crowder earlier in the trial, prosecution barrister Sally Howes QC told her: “You may have taken cocaine before you killed Gracie, or you may have taken it as you watched her die. A major injury in a child covering a large part of the body would eventually lead to a condition known as burn shock and it's obvious, not just from the burns but from the way the child is, that the child is desperately burnt.
"Decline is rapid and death follows quite quickly. My suggestion to you is that you held Gracie so she could not move and you poured scalding water over her. She could not move, she could not get away. Were you holding her by her hair at the back of her head?
"Then she started to decline. Due to the loss of fluid her body stopped working. Was that when you panicked? You knew Gracie was dead when you ran round to your parents. You watched her die.”
Crowder had claimed she had found Gracie unconscious on the bathroom floor next to an overturned mop bucket and had immediately rushed her round to her parents’ home, but ultimately she was not believed.
Detective Chief Inspector Rob Routledge, Senior Investigating Officer on the case, said: “I welcome today’s verdict which serves as justice for Gracie. What her mother Crowder put her through was absolutely appalling and I am glad she will now be jailed for this horrendous crime.
“Nobody likes to think a parent can do that to their own child.
“There was an element of that which we had to face as well, as detectives working on this case. We had to keep focus. We were asking people to believe that a mum had deliberately scalded her child to death. That’s hard to accept, that anyone – but particularly a parent – could do that.
“But when it came to being interviewed, Crowder’s inconsistencies were apparent and her story raised concerns from the outset.”
He added the distressing details of the case had a profound impact on everyone involved in the investigation.
Crowder will be sentenced next week.