Cumbria

Poppi Worthington: Abuse accused father loses bid to clear name

Poppi Worthington Image copyright Family photo
Image caption Poppi Worthington was found unconscious in her father's bed at the family home in Barrow on 12 December 2012

The father of Poppi Worthington has failed in a legal bid to change the official record of her death and remove details of her sexual abuse.

The High Court also ordered Paul Worthington to pay costs after he failed in a bid to change details of the 2012 death of daughter Poppi.

Mr Worthington's lawyers argued Cumbria coroner David Roberts "overstepped the mark" at the toddler's inquest.

Mrs Justice Farbey, at Manchester's High Court, said the coroner was right.

She ruled that Mr Robert's approach could not be "faulted" in a 17-page legal judgement.

She also ordered Mr Worthington, who is on legal aid, to pay the court costs, subject to his ability to pay.

Mr Roberts ruled in January that Mr Worthington assaulted his daughter, which he denied, but said it did not cause Poppi's death.

Mr Worthington, 50, a former supermarket worker, last week took his case to the High Court, where he was represented by high-profile barrister Leslie Thomas QC before three Law Lords.

Coroner Mr Roberts ruled in January that Poppi was sexually assaulted in her father's double bed at the family home in Barrow-in-Furness shortly before her death on 12 December 2012.

But he said this did not cause her death and she died of asphyxia, aged 13 months.

Mr Worthington, who has never been charged, appeared at the inquest but refused to answer 252 questions.

Mr Roberts concluded Poppi suffocated as she slept next to her father in an "unsafe sleeping environment".

Image copyright Kelvin Media
Image caption Paul Worthington has always denied any wrongdoing

Mrs Justice Farbey's ruling said: "In our view, neither the coroner's approach nor his conclusion can be faulted."

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has ruled out bringing charges against Mr Worthington through lack of evidence.

Mr Worthington did not attend the High Court hearing and is believed to have received police protection.

Lawyer Fiona McGhie, representing Poppi's mother, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said: "The years since Poppi died have been a complete nightmare for her."

She said Poppi's mother was "relieved" by the court's decision.

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