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Monday, 25 January 2021

Notts mum who murdered 19-month-old daughter jailed for life

She claimed that Gracie’s death was an accident, telling police that Gracie must have tipped the water over herself.

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A mum who murdered her toddler has been jailed for life.

Katie Crowder scalded nineteen-month-old Gracie with piping hot water, causing horrific burns.

Instead of getting her daughter the help she needed, the 26-year-old used vital time to cover her tracks and make it appear like an accident.

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Gracie, who had burns covering around 65 percent of her body, later died of her injuries in hospital.

A police investigation found Crowder had taken cocaine before Gracie died.

Crowder denied murder but was found guilty at Nottingham Crown Court on 8 December following a three-week trail. The jury was unanimous in its verdict.

She claimed that Gracie’s death was an accident, telling police that Gracie must have tipped the water over herself.

Crowder said she had filled a bucket of hot water to clean up after the family dog, but she left the bucket on the bathroom floor and went to put on some washing. She claimed that when she returned, Gracie was on the bathroom floor with the bucket tipped over and the floor flooded with water.

However, police found very little water on the floor when they arrived.

The prosecution disputed Crowder’s story, explaining that Gracie could not have sustained the severity of burns that she had in this way. The prosecution argued that the pain caused by her injuries would have made Gracie scream and that there was no way that Crowder could have been unaware what was happening.

The court heard that Gracie could have lived if she had received help straight away, since her injuries were not immediately life-threatening. Police believe that Crowder used the time to clean up after herself before getting help.

Detective Chief Inspector Rob Routledge, Senior Investigating Officer on the case, said: “This was a truly horrendous case and it is right that Crowder will spend a minimum of 21 years behind bars.

“Nothing will bring Gracie back or lessen her family’s pain, but justice has been done today.

“We did everything we could to put Crowder before the courts and to ensure a guilty verdict. That included a meticulous investigation and bringing in multiple experts to build a story and help the jury to understand what happened.

“We employed a number of different professionals to explore the mechanics of what took place. As well as the forensic pathologist, we employed the services of a paediatric pathologist, a consultant burns specialist, a consultant paediatrician and a consultant forensic toxicologist.

“We put questions to a number of those experts about Crowder’s version of events – things like the injuries pattern and the feasibility of Gracie being able to lift a bucket of water which was of equal weight if not heavier than she was. Their answers helped us to understand that this could not have been an accident.

“This case really affected the whole team but we now have the consolation of knowing that the harrowing work involved in gathering the evidence has resulted in justice for Gracie.”

Nottinghamshire Police was called to Wharmby Avenue in Mansfield at around 6.30am on Friday 6 March. Crowder had taken Gracie to her parents’ house, who had called an ambulance and tried to resuscitate her. Gracie was taken to hospital and was pronounced dead a short time later.