Cornwall

Eve Leatherland: Dead toddler was 'beaten and poisoned'

Abigail Leatherland and Thomas Curd Image copyright Facebook
Image caption Abigail Leatherland and Thomas Curd deny murdering 22-month old Eve

A toddler died after being viciously beaten and then poisoned with codeine by either her mother or her mother's boyfriend, a court has heard.

Eve Leatherland suffered a fractured skull, a ruptured liver and other injuries before her death in Liskeard, Cornwall, Truro Crown Court heard.

Her mother Abigail Leatherland and Thomas Curd deny murdering the 22-month-old in October 2017.

The jury heard they gave Eve codeine rather than seeking medical help.

Prosecutor Sean Brunton QC said Eve's injuries were "most commonly associated" with a car crash.

"The pain she must have experienced can only be imagined," he said.

Image copyright Facebook
Image caption Eve Leatherland had a number of injuries and fatal amounts of codeine were found in her system, the court was told

Mr Brunton said Ms Leatherland, 26, and Mr Curd, 31, had met a few months previously and Mr Curd had returned from a week in Watford to live with his partner and Eve on 30 September.

The court heard in the days leading up to her death Eve was at home with the couple but Mr Brunton said the prosecution did not yet know which defendant was responsible for which act.

He said: "The inescapable reality is that one or other or both of these people assaulted that little girl so severely that she was left with life-threatening injuries.

"But rather than taking her to hospital or phoning a doctor or doing anything else to try and save her, ultimately she was given a fatal dose of codeine."

'Taking selfies'

Mr Brunton said neither of the defendants "did a thing to help her" but instead seemed to have been playing video games, taking selfies, watching TV and sending messages "just feet away from where Eve was weakening and then dying on her bed".

The court heard Eve had almost certainly been dead for several hours by the time her mother dialled 999 at 12:44 on 5 October 2017.

Both defendants deny murder and the alternative charge of manslaughter by gross negligence.

They also deny causing or allowing the death of a child.

The trial continues.

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