Man jailed for murder of toddler in Liskeard
29 March 2019, 15:09 | Updated: 29 March 2019, 15:15
Two people have been jailed in connection with the death of Eve Leatherland in Liskeard.
Eve, who was just 22 months of age, sustained multiple fractures, bruises and had a fatal dose of codeine in her system, when she died in October 2017.
Her mother Abigail Leatherland was found guilty of causing or allowing the death of a child but acquitted of manslaughter by a jury at Truro Crown Court.
Ms Leatherland's ex-partner Thomas Curd was convicted of murdering Eve.
Curd, 31, of Watford in Hertfordshire, was jailed for a minimum of 20 years.
Leatherland, 26, of Liskeard, was jailed for three-and-a-half years.
During the trial, the jury saw a number of photos and videos taken by the defendants that showed Eve looking extremely unwell in the days before her death.
They also saw pictures of her blood-stained mattress.
Prosecutor Sean Brunton QC said Eve's injuries were ‘most commonly associated’ with those that would be sustained in a car crash.
The court heard Eve's ribs and skull were fractured and refractured in ‘at least three’ attacks, and she was poisoned with the painkiller in an attempt to mask the injuries.
Eve had almost certainly been dead for several hours before her mother dialled 999, the jury was told.
Police and ambulance were called to an address in Liskeard at around 12.45pm on 5 October 2017 and found Eve unresponsive. She was airlifted to Derriford Hospital but died shortly afterwards.
An investigation was launched by the Major Crime Investigation Team in Bodmin and the couple were charged in September 2018.
Detective Inspector Steve Hambly, of the Major Crime Investigation Team in Bodmin, said: “Today's sentencing draws to a close what has been an 18-month investigation. Eve Leatherland was subjected to a series of assaults, and was also given a fatal overdose of an adult painkiller, all in the space of the few days before her death.
“This has been a challenging case, as there was no information as to how Eve was harmed from the two adults who had her care during the relevant period. The circumstances have touched all who have been involved, from the first paramedics and medical staff, through my investigation team, those involved with the court process, and finally those who knew and cared for Eve during her short life.
"What this case does show is that where the most vulnerable in society are assaulted in this way, one can expect the authorities to turn every stone to ensure the truth emerges.”