A couple are facing lengthy jail spells for torturing their baby girl before staging her death on an East London bus. Rosalin Baker, 25, and Jeffrey Wiltshire, 52, were both found guilty of causing or allowing the death or serious physical harm of their three-month-old daughter Imani Wiltshire.
The court heard how Imani's was abused by her parents soon after she was taken home from hospital, where she spent 65 days after being born prematurely. During her time in hospital, Imani was only visited by Baker 22 times, with Wiltshire never visiting her.
Tests revealed how Imani had at least 40 separate injuries across her body at the time of her death, including several fractures to her ribs, head and wrist, all of which were consistent with being non-accidental.
After discovering Imani's lifeless body, the pair concocted a scheme to make it appear as if the baby had fallen ill and stopped breathing while travelling on a bus in Bow. The plan included asking members of the public for assistance.
At around 9.25am on 28 September 2016, Baker entered a shop in Church Road to top up her Oyster card with Imani strapped in a sling and her face covered with a cloth. Baker later admitted to police that her baby was already dead at this point and the cloth was used to hide a significant injury to her right eye and a visible head injury.
Moments later, Baker was joined by Wiltshire, who helped her onto a number 25 bus heading towards Bow Church. CCTV footage from the bus shows Wiltshire giving Baker the thumbs up, which detectives believe was the signal to begin their plan.
Around 20 minutes into the journey, Baker looked at daughter for the first time. She then turned around and beckoned a female passenger over, telling her that Imani had stopped breathing.
After the driver was alerted and the emergency services called, a second woman performed CPR on the baby. She realised her attempts to save the child were futile when she noticed Imani's lips were cold.
The woman who came to help later told police how Baker remained on the phone the entire time attempts were made to save her daughter's life. Officers added many of the passengers mistook one of the women who had provided medical assistance for Imani's mother as she appeared much more emotional distressed at the incident than Baker.
Medical professionals noticed that Imani had been dead for so long by the time she had been taken to hospital that the onset of Rigor Mortis had begun. A special post-mortem ruled cause of death was determined as a head injury.
Baker and Wiltshire were arrested and charged in connection with their daughter's death and found guilty to the above charges. A jury found them not guilty of murder.
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 will be sentenced on 18 May.
You may be interested in:
- Man ordered to marry off five-year-old daughter after killing cow in India
- Fireman allegedly paid for sex with abducted underage prostitute at the fire station
- Cans of Bud Light given to Liverpool's homeless during 'outrageous' promotion campaign
- Couple tortured newborn baby before faking her death on London bus