“It was my f****** daughter" - moment Mansfield mum was told she was being arrested on suspicion of her daughter's murder

A court has heard the moment a mum was made aware of her daughter’s death - and then told shortly afterwards she would be arrested on suspicion of her murder.

Tuesday, 24th November 2020, 10:05 am

Katie Crowder, aged 26, of Wharmby Avenue, Mansfield, is accused of murdering her 19-month-old daughter Gracie by scalding her to death on March 6.

It is alleged she then waited for an hour before taking the dying toddler to her parents’ home two doors down from where she lived, claiming she had just found the child.

In a police interview, she claimed that she found the toddler unconscious in the bathroom after she tipped a bucket of water over herself, and then immediately went for help.

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Mansfield woman Katie Crowder is currently on trial for murdering her 19-month-old daughter

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“She was lying on the floor and I picked her up and started to kiss her,” Crowder told detectives in the recording.

“I can’t tell you exactly what happened - I was in the bathroom and the mop bucket was on the floor. She wasn’t moving, there was nothing. That’s why I ran round to my mum’s. I’d changed her nappy and given her some breakfast and some juice from the kitchen and I saw Gracie feeding her banana to the dog.”

Crowder then described letting the puppy out into the back garden and having a cigarette, then said she remembered the older dog had urinated on a duvet cover, and she had emptied the washing machine and put it in.

She had then gone to look for her daughter and found Gracie unconscious next to the upturned bucket.

“Her body was red hot and I just scooped her up and ran,” she told detectives.

Earlier on Monday, in the third day of what is expected to be a two-week trial, the jury heard evidence from custody officer Dawn Jowitt and PC Sarah Finch, both based at Mansfield Police Station, who told the court Crowder had said her jogging bottoms were wet from “getting her daughter out of the bath.”

The jury was also shown police bodycam’ footage of Crowder being taken inside the A&E department at King’s Mill Hospital, where Gracie was taken by paramedics.

In a largely inaudible piece of footage which ran for around 40 minutes, Crowder is seen, shadowed by two police officers, sitting in the waiting area before going outside and smoking, when her sister, Ellen Smedley arrived.

She was then escorted into a sideroom at the hospital and shortly afterwards two more officers arrived at the scene.

Separate footage from the two officers, based at the Kirkby Fast Response Unit, first detailed the moment Crowder is told that Gracie has been pronounced dead, and both the defendant and her sister are seen to collapse in tears.

Moments later, Crowder was told she is being arrested on suspicion of murder and Mrs Smedley is heard to say: “Are you taking the p***, are you taking the p***? Oh my God.”

Crowder shouted: “It was my f****** daughter” and had to be restrained.

Footage then showed the defendant being led back through the A&E area in handcuffs to an awaiting police car.

Crowder denies murder.

The trial continues.

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