Doncaster mum leads fight for justice for Poppi Worthington, tot sexually abused by dad before death

Charlotte Lambert has produced a video to highlight the plight of Poppi Worthington.
Charlotte Lambert has produced a video to highlight the plight of Poppi Worthington.

A Doncaster mum is spearheading the fight for justice for a toddler who was sexually abused by her own father before her death.

13-month old Poppi Worthington was sexually assaulted by her father Paul Worthington before her death from asphyxia six years ago, a coroner ruled in January.

Earlier this year, Coroner David Roberts said Mr Worthington assaulted his daughter in his bed, laid a cover over her and went to sleep with Poppi dying alongside him.

But because of an earlier catalogue of police failings and blunders Mr Worthington was never prosecuted or charged and remains free, under heavy police protection.

Now Doncaster mum Charlotte Lambert is campaigning for justice on behalf of Poppi and has produced a campaign video to draw attention to her fight.

Charlotte, 36, a mum of three, said she was spurred into action after hearing about Poppi's plight and and read up on the case on the internet.

She said: "I had to force myself to read it because as soon as I read the first few paragraphs I could feel my blood turn cold and I felt physically sick.

"I read the whole case from a newspaper article and I could feel tears welling up in my eyes but also a massive overwhelming feeling of sadness and pure anger and disgust."

Earlier this year, it was announced there would be no further review into the death of Poppi after the Crown Prosecution Service said no new evidence "capable of affecting decisions not to prosecute" had emerged at the inquest.

In a statement released through her solicitor Fiona McGhie, Poppi's mum, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said it was the "third time" a court had found, on the balance of probabilities, that Poppi was sexually assaulted prior to death.

At the inquest, Poppi's father Paul chose to rely on his right not to answer many questions which may incriminate him at the inquest, refusing to answer 252 separate questions.

During a three-week inquest at Kendal Coroner's Court in November last year, Mr Worthington declined answer any questions about the circumstances surrounding Poppi's death.

He said he had gone to get her a fresh nappy and returned a few minutes later to find her limp and unresponsive.

He told the coroner he rushed downstairs and Poppi's mother called an ambulance. Poppi was pronounced dead at Furness General Hospital soon after.

However, Mr Roberts said the 50-year-old's account of events did not "stand up to scrutiny".

Added Charlotte: "When I heard the case against Paul Worthington had been dropped, something inside me felt very sad and wrong as all I could see was his little baby girl with no justice.

"I went back to work but just couldn’t stop thinking about it. I told my sister what I had heard and read and she instantly told me that there was Facebook group called justice4poppi that is fighting to get Worthington prosecuted.

"But I couldn’t just leave it at that. Something inside me just wouldn’t let this lie, this little girl who I had never known about or met just stayed inside my heart and I just had to try to help to get her story out there and most importantly help #justice4poppi."

Self-employed hairdresser Charlotte, who has three children aged four, two and one, first had a vest made up publicising the campaign and ran the Scunthorpe Half Marathon dressed in the red top to draw awareness to the campaign.

She then decided to create a campaign video which you can watch HERE
She added: "I wrote and produced the entire thing myself and it cost me £500 out of my own money to make but she is worth every penny if I can help bring awareness to her case and to child abuse.

"The minute it was finished I sent it to #justice4poppi and since they uploaded it went viral in the first day, it got over a thousand hits in the first couple of hours and now a week later is at 16,000 and rising.

"I can only hope and pray that it helps her case. I now have other things planned to be actively getting out there to bring awareness to her story and to try to bring in those petition signatures.

"Without #justice4poppi none of this would be possible as they work tirelessly to try to bring in signatures for Poppi. They are truly amazing and I’m lucky to be working along side them."

You can join the campaign and sign the petition HERE