Cumbria

Poppi Worthington death: Watchdog report 'should be made public'

Poppi Worthington Image copyright Family photo
Image caption No-one will be charged in connection with Poppi's death, the Crown Prosecution Service said

Demands have been repeated for a report into a 13-month-old girl's death to be made public after prosecutors said no-one would be charged.

Poppi Worthington was found with serious injuries at her home in Barrow, Cumbria, in December 2012.

In January, a judge ruled she had been sexually assaulted by her father, Paul Worthington, who denies any wrongdoing.

Barrow MP John Woodcock said it was "completely unacceptable" the police watchdog report remained unpublished.

"The home secretary needs to intervene in this and actually investigate whether this is a police force which is fit for purpose," he said.

It was "no good" having Cumbria Police Chief Constable Jerry Graham saying "we're all fine now", he said.

"I hope now with the CPS verdict that they will bring this forward because that will shed some more light on individual failures."

Image caption Poppi Worthington's father Paul has denied any wrongdoing

Cumbria Police, which has been investigated by the Independent Police Complaints Commission, has been criticised over its investigation into the toddler's death after it emerged officers failed to preserve vital items for forensic analysis.

Mr Graham apologised for mistakes made and said the force "deeply regrets" the way the case was handled.

As part of care proceedings in the family court in January, Mr Justice Peter Jackson highlighted a list of basic errors in evidence-gathering and ruled the force carried out no "real" investigation into the death of the toddler for nine months.

Key dates in Poppi Worthington case

Cumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Peter McCall said the force had "let Poppi down".

The Crown Prosecution Service said on Thursday it had reviewed "the original decision in this case that there was insufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction" and reached the same conclusion.

Mr Worthington was arrested on suspicion of sexual assault in August 2013.

His sister, Tracey Worthington, said he "knows he hasn't done anything, but it's so hard proving it."

Of the decision not to prosecute, she said: "I can't say it's a relief because he knows he hasn't done anything. He said it's just one hurdle of many he's still got to knock down."

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