Live coverage from Mansfield child murder trial: Closing speeches under way as mother is accused of murdering her 19-month-old daughter

We are back at Nottingham Crown Court for the ongoing trial of Mansfield woman Katie Crowder, who is accused of murdering her daughter Gracie by scalding her to death.

Thursday, 3rd December 2020, 9:54 am
Updated Thursday, 3rd December 2020, 2:26 pm

It is alleged that Crowder, 26, of Wharmby Avenue, Mansfield, killed the toddler on March 6 this year, then waited before raising the alarm to ‘cover her tracks’.

She denies murder.

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Katie Crowder is on trial at Nottingham Crown Court

Live coverage from Mansfield child murder trial: Thursday, December 3, 2020

Last updated: Thursday, 03 December, 2020, 16:15

  • We are back at Nottingham Crown Court for the ongoing trial of Mansfield woman Katie Crowder, who is accused of murdering her daughter Gracie by scalding her to death
  • It is alleged that Crowder, aged 26, of Wharmby Avenue, Mansfield, killed the toddler on March 6 this year. She denies murder

Thankyou for following our live blog today. We’ll be back with more coverage when the case resumes.

Hello and welcome to today’s live blog. We’ll be bringing you live coverage of the murder trial from Nottingham Crown Court. The blog will be refreshed with updates as the proceedings continue.

10.45am: Prosecutor Sally Howes QC is cross-examining Crowder.

10.46am: Sally Howes QC to Crowder - "You may have taken cocaine before you killed Gracie, or you may have taken it as you watched her die."

10.48am: Sally Howes QC to Crowder - "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."

10.51am: Sally Howes QC to Crowder - "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?"

10.54am: Sally Howes QC to Crowder - "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."

11.24am: Evidence has been read from a member of the public who cannot be named for legal reasons defending Crowder and describing her as a good mother and detailing the close relationship between Crowder and Gracie. "Gracie was a beautiful baby," the witness said. A reporting restriction was put in place by the judge to protect the witness because of the attention the case has received on social media.

11.38am: There is now a break in proceedings. Closing speeches are due to begin at 12 noon.

12.06pm: Proceedings are about to resume.

12.10pm: Sally Howes QC is making her closing speech. "Emotions have run high through this case which is not surprising. It is inevitable in cases involving the death of a child - sympathy for the child who has lost its life, and sympathy for the mother accused of killing that child, as well as feelings of anger, outrage and disgust."

12.19pm: Ms Howes is referencing the evidence given by Home Office Pathologist Dr Stuart Hamilton, who said that Gracie's cause of death was scalding. The distribution of injuries was not at all usual so he brought in a burns expert.

12.23pm: Sally Howes QC - "The only abnormality Dr Hamilton found was skin loss and scalds. That was the only abnormality."

12.24pm: "Death would not have been immediate," Ms Howes has said. "There is no physical finding of anything that would have prevented her from vocalising or crying out."

12.28pm: She is referencing evidence given by burns expert Kieran O'Boyle. "A major burn sets off a very profound change and this can happen relatively quickly. If that child is not treated with fluids, that child will show signs of something that is very much like blood loss. The child would become very distressed, would be crying and would try to move away from the heat that is causing the pain. If the child is not treated, the child will become lethargic. It could take an hour until we reach the burn shock stage and that doesn't happen immediately. Normally one hour later a child would start to show signs of burn shock and the next stage is lack of consciousness, leading to death. Decline is then rapid and the child is at severe risk of death, pretty quickly."

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