Mother 'forced onto bus with dead child as boyfriend tries to frame her for murder'

Sean Morrison

A mother has accused her abusive boyfriend of forcing her on to a bus with the corpse of her dead child to frame her for the murder of the baby girl, a court heard.

Rosalin Baker, 25, wept in court as she described her controlling and violent relationship with cocaine and heroin addict Jeffrey Wiltshire.

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

It is alleged Baker appeared “cold” as she alerted horrified commuters that something was wrong with her 16-week-old child in an attempt to conceal the truth.

But giving evidence at the Old Bailey, Baker said she was "in a lot of shock" and "devastated" as she feared people would "think it's me".

During the journey, she told jurors she began to realise that "he tried to frame me for killing my own baby".

Baker said she had woken that day to find Imani lying at the bottom of the bed she shared with Wiltshire in Newham, east London.

She got up to prepare her milk and noticed she was "cold" and "still", with a "big black eye".

Baker said: "When I saw her I started screaming. I called Jeffrey and woke him up. He sat up and looked at her, put his hand on his head and goes 'Oh no, she's dead'."

Ian Henderson QC, defending, asked: "When you had touched Imani's face and touched her hands, what did you think about her state?"

Baker replied: "The first thing I thought was he's done something to her. When I looked at her she looked really bad. I thought she was dead."

The defendant described trying to phone for an ambulance and police but said Wiltshire snatched her phone away and stopped her from leaving, threatening to hurt her and her family.

She performed CPR on her daughter before Wiltshire gave her money and told her to go to her mother or her sister, allegedly saying: "Why didn't she die at your mum's house?"

Baker said: "I was crying and then he pushed me on the bed and said 'It's all your fault. I told you to give her up for adoption'."

On leaving the flat, Baker topped up her Oyster card and bought a drink and some food before she got on the bus to go to her sister's house, as Wiltshire had instructed, the court heard.

Mr Henderson asked why Wiltshire had kissed her as she got on the bus. Baker said she did not want it and was not expecting it.

The lawyer went on: "There's a thumbs-up gesture from Mr Wiltshire; do you know why he did that?"

Baker replied: "No."

She told the court that Wiltshire took drugs every day, would control their benefits payments and would regularly beat and threaten her.

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

Imani, who was born prematurely and put on the Child Protection Register, was allegedly subjected to at least three severe attacks.

These left her with 40 fractures to her ribs, a fractured wrist and terrible head injuries.

But Baker said she did not notice anything wrong although Imani would scream and cry when left with Wiltshire while she went to the shops.

On the day of Imani's death, Baker said she had not taken any cocaine or heroin herself although she could not remember if she had taken drugs the day before.

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

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