Mother, 26, ‘scalded her daughter to death and covered her tracks’, court hears 


Cocaine-using mother, 26, ‘fatally scalded her 19-month-old daughter and left her to scream while she covered her tracks for at least an hour’, court hears

  • Gracie Crowder died shortly after was rushed to hospital on March 6 this year
  • She suffered deep burns covering 65 per cent of the infant’s body area
  • Mother Katie Crowder accused of murdering child by exposing her to hot water
  • The incident allegedly took place at Katie Crowder’s home in Mansfield

A cocaine-using mother scalded her 19-month-old daughter to death and left her to scream in pain while she ‘covered her tracks’ for at least an hour, a court heard.

Gracie Crowder died shortly after she was rushed to hospital on March 6 after suffering deep burns covering 65 per cent of the infant’s body area. 

Her mother Katie Crowder, 26, is accused of murdering the child by exposing her to hot water at her home in Mansfield and 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’.

A cocaine-using mother scalded her 19-month-old daughter Gracie Crowder (pictured) to death and left her to scream in pain while she ‘covered her tracks’ at her home in Mansfield for at least an hour, a court heard

Her mother Katie Crowder is accused of murdering the child (pictured together) by exposing her to hot water at her home in Mansfield and then spent the next hour 'clearing up' before taking her to her parents' house on the same street

Her mother Katie Crowder is accused of murdering the child (pictured together) by exposing her to hot water at her home in Mansfield and then spent the next hour ‘clearing up’ before taking her to her parents’ house on the same street

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 mop bucket.

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'.

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’.

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 on Thursday, 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.

Jurors heard the 26-year-old defendant (pictured with Gracie) told police she had been 'cleaning up a mess from the puppy' and found her daughter face down in the bathroom next to a mop bucket

Jurors heard the 26-year-old defendant (pictured with Gracie) told police she had been ‘cleaning up a mess from the puppy’ and found her daughter face down in the bathroom next to a mop bucket

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, Nottinghamshire, and when cautioned, Crowder said: ‘What? I would never hurt her.’

Crowder, of Wharmby Avenue, denies a single charge of murder.

The trial continues.

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