Mother blames boyfriend for murder of baby after staging death on Stratford bus, court hears

Fiona Simpson

A young mother accused of staging the death of her baby on a bus in east London has blamed her boyfriend for the killing, a court heard.

Rosalin Baker, 25, was given the "thumbs-up" by 52-year-old Jeffrey Wiltshire, as she boarded the number 25 in Stratford, with the body of their 16-week-old daughter, Imani, in a sling, jurors have been told.

As passengers travelled to work on the morning of September 28 last year, Baker acted out a "nightmare" charade and cried for help.

She said her baby had just fallen ill, when in fact she was already dead, the Old Bailey has heard.

Imani, who was born prematurely, was on the child protection register when she was allegedly subjected to at least three severe attacks which left her with 40 fractures to her ribs, a fractured wrist and terrible head injuries.

In the week before Imani's death, Baker had taken the infant to live with Wiltshire in his bedsit in Newham after leaving her mother's home in Colchester, Essex, the court was told.

Giving evidence, Baker told jurors Wiltshire was responsible for Imani's death and that she was "petrified" of him.

Her barrister Ian Henderson QC asked: "Did you kill your daughter Imani?"

She answered: "No."

He asked if she caused injuries to her child's head, ribs and wrist, and Baker denied it

Mr Henderson said: "If you are not responsible for those injuries, who do you say is?"

She replied: "Jeffrey."

Mr Henderson asked Baker: "Were you aware Jeffrey Wiltshire had caused injuries to Imani at any time before 28th September - the day you were on the bus?"

She replied "No."

Baker told jurors their relationship began when she was aged just 18.

She said he used violence against her on a "regular" basis, slapping, punching and hitting her with the handle of a knife.

Asked how she felt about him, she said: "Petrified of him."

On why she did not leave him, she said: "Because he kept stopping me and threatening me saying I can't leave him. He was violent."

She told jurors that their only income came from benefits and both she and Wiltshire took class A drugs.

Baker told jurors her partner took drugs "every day", in particular cocaine, heroin and cannabis.

She admitted she had also taken heroin and cocaine but not so often.

Wiltshire, who claims to have fathered 23 children, and Baker deny murder and causing or allowing their child's death.

The trial continues.

Additional reporting by Press Association.