'Killer' mum and lover 'laughed and asked for cigarettes as toddler they poisoned lay dying in hospital'
Truro Crown Court heard today Abigail Leatherland, 26, and Thomas Curd, 31, poisoned Eve Leatherland to cover up a series of beatings.
Abigail’s 22-month-old daughter suffered a fractured skull, broken ribs and a lacerated liver in the days leading up to her death – with the court previously hearing that by the time 999 was called Eve had "almost certainly" been dead for hours.
A jury heard the pair were “wrapped up in their own superficial world of video games, TV, texts, selfies and Facebook” as she lay a few feet away.
Derriford Hospital emergency department sister Sophie Brock was working when Eve was rushed to hospital in Plymouth on October 5, 2017.
She said of the defendants: “They asked again if they could go for a cigarette.
''They came back smiling and laughing away to themselves and that frustrated me slightly."
Ms Brock said when Eve arrived at hospital “she looked dead”, adding: “She was very pale and I noticed bruising around the nappy line.
''The bruising looked a couple of days old and there was also what looked like a splayed hand around the waist area.”
Ms Brock described how there were attempts to resuscitate Eve but an anaesthetist was unable to open her jaw because it was so rigid.
Leatherland and Curd are charged with murder, manslaughter by gross negligence and causing or allowing the death of a child.
Both deny the charges, claiming they were not responsible for the injuries Eve sustained in the build-up to her death.
The prosecution claims that at least one of the defendants was responsible for inflicting the injuries and sedating Eve with a fatal dose of codeine.
Ms Brock added: “They told the doctor he (Curd) had only moved in at the weekend but they’d been together a while.
''They said that Eve had been genuinely unwell and that she was tired, lethargic and sleeping a lot.
“Tom explained that on the day he put Eve back to bed at 9:30am and Abigail woke up at 10:30am but didn’t check Eve. The next check was five minutes before the 999 call.”
When Ms Brock checked Eve again she claims to have noticed a bloodshot area to the eye, a condition associated to a non-accidental injury which she then passed on to the police.
Prosecuting barrister Sean Brunton, QC, asked Ms Brock about Eve’s general condition and she replied that she was very slim for her age, was pale and had dirt under her fingernails.
Specialist paediatric sister Charlotte Durrant told the jury how she told Curd and Leatherland that Eve was going to pass away and described Leatherland as, although upset, scrolling through her phone at the bedside.
Curd was said to be “very pale, agitated and shaky”.
Curd and Leatherland deny the charges against them.
The trial continues.
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