Cumbria

Poppi Worthington: Father calls for inquest ban on sex assault ruling

Poppi Worthington Image copyright Family photo
Image caption Poppi Worthington died in December, 2012, aged 13 months

A father who a judge concluded probably assaulted his 13-month-old daughter before she died wants the ruling excluded from her inquest.

Poppi Worthington from Barrow died in hospital in December 2012 from unexplained injuries.

A high court family judge ruled it was most likely her father Paul sexually assaulted her, which he denies.

Cumbria coroner David Roberts is deciding what evidence to use in the inquest.

It will be the second hearing into Poppi's death after the first inquest in 2014 recorded a verdict of "unexplained death", which was later deemed "irregular" but the High Court.

'Fundamentally wrong'

Mr Roberts previously said he is minded to include the evidence and conclusions of the court in the new inquest.

Leslie Thomas QC, for Mr Worthington, said it would be "fundamentally wrong" and "unlawful" if the coroner used the judge's finding as evidence.

The barrister also asked that his client give evidence via video link because he is receiving death threats.

The hearing was adjourned for Mr Roberts to make a decision.

The Crown Prosecution Service previously said there was insufficient evidence to charge Mr Worthington.

Cumbria Police has apologised for its handling of the case.

A full inquest, scheduled to last three weeks, will take place at Kendal Coroner's Court in October.

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