Live coverage from Mansfield child murder trial: Closing speeches under way as mother is accused of murdering her 19-month-old daughter

We are back at Nottingham Crown Court for the ongoing trial of Mansfield woman Katie Crowder, who is accused of murdering her daughter Gracie by scalding her to death.

Thursday, 3rd December 2020, 9:54 am
Updated Thursday, 3rd December 2020, 2:26 pm

It is alleged that Crowder, 26, of Wharmby Avenue, Mansfield, killed the toddler on March 6 this year, then waited before raising the alarm to ‘cover her tracks’.

She denies murder.

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Katie Crowder is on trial at Nottingham Crown Court

Live coverage from Mansfield child murder trial: Thursday, December 3, 2020

Last updated: Thursday, 03 December, 2020, 15:01

  • We are back at Nottingham Crown Court for the ongoing trial of Mansfield woman Katie Crowder, who is accused of murdering her daughter Gracie by scalding her to death
  • It is alleged that Crowder, aged 26, of Wharmby Avenue, Mansfield, killed the toddler on March 6 this year. She denies murder

12.46pm: Sally Howes QC - "If Mr O'Boyle is right, it took Gracie a while to die and that, you might think, would leave Katie Crowder with a few questions to answer."

12.51pm: The prosecution claim that Crowder did not use the bucket and, based on her evidence, the water in the mop bucket would not have been hot enough to cause Gracie's injuries, if she had used it.

"It looks like the water in that bucket could not have been any more than tepid if she had used it. She also told you that she added cold water to the bucket to make the water go bubbly," Ms Howes said.

12.58pm: Ms Howes is questioning why Crowder went to the trouble of filling up a mop bucket to clean up some puppy pee when she was in the bathroom already with toilet paper at hand and sanitiser spray. She also questions why Crowder then abandoned the task to go and wash a soiled duvet cover.

1.03pm: Sally Howes QC - "Katie Crowder has told you a string of lies in order to put Gracie with a container of hot water on her own to attribute it to being an accident. We would suggest that this was to cover up what really happened to Gracie that morning."

1.10pm: No water at all was found on the bathroom floor where Crowder claimed the mop bucket had been spilled, Ms Howes said.

1.11pm: Crowder described only minor injuries to Gracie in her first interview, while paramedics described extensive burns, Ms Howes said.

"Katie Crowder knew Gracie was dead when she took her to her mother's. The first thing she said was, 'She's dead, she's dead'."

1.15pm: Crowder spent the 12 minutes back at her house before the police arrived panicking and trying to get her story straight, Ms Howes told the court. "She was trying to think up some explanation to the police, because she was going to have to answer some questions."

1.24pm: Sally Howes QC - "Gracie was being held down and it was done deliberately. She didn't pour the bucket over herself. It's a lie made by a very devious mind. This was not an accidental pouring."

1.25pm: Sally Howes QC - "Gracie was left to die slowly. She reached the burn shock point and died and that is when the panic set in."

1.27pm: The case for the prosecution has now concluded. Join us at 2.30pm when Crowder's defence barrister will speak on her behalf.

2.36pm: Miranda Moore QC is about to begin her address in Crowder's defence.

2.35pm: Miranda Moore QC - "The prosecution theory is that Katie Crowder held Gracie by the back of her head and used something to pour a large volume of scalding water over her - holding her down so she could not escape and then leaving her sitting in that water for a period of time. This is a theory that was never looked at by the experts and not one expert said to us that this child has been held."

2.51pm : Ms Moore is telling the jury that traces of water were found in the bathroom, along with wet clothing.

2.52pm: Ms Moore has said it is extremely unfair of the prosecution to say that Crowder had played down Gracie's injuries.

2.57pm: Ms Moore has told the jury that if, according to medical evidence, it had taken between one and two hours for Gracie to die, she would have had more time to think up a better story . . . if she wasn't telling the truth.

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