A 26-year-old mum named Katie Crowder has been convicted for the murder of her 19-month-old daughter Gracie. Crowder was reportedly high on cocaine at the time of the murder.
She killed young Gracie by exposing her to hot water at their home in Wharmby Avenue, Mansfield, Nottinghamshire.
After scalding the child to death, Crowder spent an hour cleaning up the house and covering her tracks before taking the girl to her parent’s house, which is located on the same street.
After that, Gracie was taken to a nearby hospital where she was pronounced dead shortly after her arrival.
The child suffered from deep burns that were covering 65% of her body.
The court heard this week that Crowder sounded panicked when she arrived at her parent’s home, before telling them, “she’s dead, she’s dead.”
Crowder had denied that she did anything to hurt her daughter. She claimed in court that she was “cleaning up a mess from the puppy” and found her daughter face down in the bathroom next to a mop bucket.
A Home Office pathologist appeared in court as an expert witness, and testified that Gracie would have cried out “vigorously” for at least an hour with the injuries that she sustained.
On the night of the killing, Karen Crowder reportedly asked her daughter “what the hell have you done?”
Katie Crowder responded, “I don’t know, I found her like this.”
Prosecutor Sally Howes QC said that, “Gracie Crowder’s death was not an instant death. It would have taken in the region of one hour for her to die. ‘You may ask – why the delay in calling for help? ‘It is the Crown’s case that the delay was Katie Crowder covering her tracks – she knew what she had done. She was clearing up, she was clearing away, she was thinking about a way of explaining what she had done.”
The court also heard that cocaine was found in Crowder’s blood four hours after the murder occurred, which means that she likely took the drug an hour or so before carrying out the act.
Crowder will be sentenced at a later date.