Mum 'scalded her 19-month-old daughter to death and left her to scream in pain for an hour to cover her tracks’

A MUM scalded her 19-month-old daughter to death and left her to scream in agony for an hour while she "covered her tracks", a court heard.

Gracie Crowder was pronounced dead shortly after arriving at hospital on March 6 suffering deep burns covering around 65 per cent of her body.

The prosecution alleges her cocaine-using mother, Katie Crowder, murdered the child by exposing her to hot water at her home in Mansfield,

It claims she then spent the next hour "clearing up" before taking her to her parents' house on the same street.

Nottingham Crown Court heard that on her arrival at Paul and Karen Crowder's house, the defendant sounded "panicked" as she knocked on their door before telling her parents "she's dead, she's dead".

Prosecutor Sally Howes QC said after Gracie suffered a cardiac arrest, Crowder's mother asked the accused "what the hell have you done?" to which she responded "I don't know, I found her like this."

Jurors heard the 26-year-old defendant told police she had been "cleaning up a mess from the puppy" and found her daughter face down in the bathroom next to a bucket.

The prosecution said a Home Office pathologist had concluded the child would have cried out "vigorously" until pain was relieved and she would not have suffered organ failure for around an hour.


Opening the case against Crowder today, Ms Howes said: "It is the Crown's case that you can be sure Gracie Crowder was killed by a deliberate and unlawful act by her mother.

"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."

Ms Howes told the jury the amount of cocaine found in Crowder's blood four hours after the incident was consistent with the defendant having taken the class A drug in the hour before Gracie's death.

The court heard the defendant had made comments about her daughter in the past – saying: "I need to get her to nursery, I never get a break at all."

She was arrested in King's Mill Hospital in Sutton-in-Ashfield, Notts, and when cautioned, Crowder allegedly said: "What? I would never hurt her."

Crowder denies a single charge of murder and the trial continues.

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