Police: 'Justice has been done today' after Mansfield mum handed life imprisonment for murdering baby

Nottinghamshire Police said ‘justice has been done today’ after a Mansfield mum was handed life imprisonment for murdering her 19-month-old daughter.

By Lizzie Day
Wednesday, 16th December 2020, 2:08 pm

Katie Crowder, of Mansfield, who scalded her nineteen-month-old daughter Gracie with piping hot water, causing horrific burns that led to her death, has been jailed for 21 years.

Instead of getting her daughter the help she needed, the 26-year-old used vital time to cover her tracks and make it appear to have been an accident, according to police.

Officers were called at around 6.30am on Friday, March 6 after Crowder had taken Gracie to her parents’ house, who had called an ambulance and tried to resuscitate her.

Katie Crowder has been sentenced to life imprisonment for murdering her 19-month-old daughter Gracie.

Gracie, who had burns covering around 65 per cent of her body, later died of her injuries in hospital and a police investigation found Crowder had taken cocaine before Gracie died.

Detective Chief Inspector Rob Routledge, Senior Investigating Officer on the case, said: “This was a truly horrendous case and it is right that Crowder will spend a minimum of 21 years behind bars.

“Nothing will bring Gracie back or lessen her family’s pain, but justice has been done today.

“We did everything we could to put Crowder before the courts and to ensure a guilty verdict.

"That included a meticulous investigation and bringing in multiple experts to build a story and help the jury to understand what happened.”

Crowder denied murder but was found guilty by a unanimous verdict at Nottingham Crown Court following a three-week trail.

She claimed that Gracie’s death was an accident, telling police that Gracie must have tipped the water over herself.

Crowder said she had filled a bucket of hot water to clean up after the family dog, but she left the bucket on the bathroom floor and went to put on some washing.

The 26-year-old claimed that when she returned, Gracie was on the bathroom floor with the bucket tipped over and the floor flooded with water.

However, police said they found very little water on the floor when they arrived.

Detective Chief Inspector Rob Routledge continued: “We employed a number of different professionals to explore the mechanics of what took place.

“As well as the forensic pathologist, we employed the services of a paediatric pathologist, a consultant burns specialist, a consultant paediatrician and a consultant forensic toxicologist.

“We put questions to a number of those experts about Crowder’s version of events - things like the injuries pattern and the feasibility of Gracie being able to lift a bucket of water which was of equal weight if not heavier than she was. Their answers helped us to understand that this could not have been an accident.

“This case really affected the whole team but we now have the consolation of knowing that the harrowing work involved in gathering the evidence has resulted in justice for Gracie.”

The prosecution said Gracie could not have sustained the severity of burns that she had in this way and the injuries she received would have made her scream.

During the trial, the court heard that Gracie could have lived if she had received help straight away, since her injuries were not immediately life-threatening but police believe Crowder used the time to clean up after herself before getting help.

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