Mansfield dad 'wants to rip the head off' man who murdered his daughter

The Mansfield-based father of a toddler who was murdered in her Cornwall home says he wants to 'rip off the head' of the man who took the life of his little girl.

Dean Bird, of Portland Street, Mansfield Woodhouse, made the 10-hour round trip from Mansfield to Truro Crown Court in Cornwall every day of the trial of his former partner Abigail Leatherland, the mother of his daughter Eve, and her ex Tom Curd.

Dean Bird pictured with his daughter Eve.

Dean Bird pictured with his daughter Eve.

Leatherland and Curd have now been convicted for their roles in causing the death of 22-month-old Eve who died after being given a codeine overdose in October 2017.

X-rays also revealed that Eve had suffered serious injuries at the home she shared with Leatherland and Curd in Liskeard .

On Thursday (March 28), after deliberating for only a few hours, a jury found Curd guilty of murder.

The murder charge against Leatherland had been dropped by the prosecution on Wednesday (March 27), but she has been found guilty of causing or allowing a child to die but not guilty of manslaughter by gross negligence.

Tom Curd.

Tom Curd.

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Eve was found to have suffered a number of injuries including a broken skull, broken ribs and a lacerated liver. Several of the fractures occurred in the same place as previous fractures, meaning Eve was subjected to identical assaults during the healing process.

Her lifeless body was taken to Derriford Hospital in Plymouth but it was suspected that Eve had been dead for several hours before paramedics were called.

Mr Bird has spoken about his loss and the ordeal of having to look at Leatherland and Curd in the dock during the trial.

Abigail Leatherland and Tom Curd.

Abigail Leatherland and Tom Curd.

Tattooist Mr Bird, who hadn’t seen Eve since she was 15 months old, said: “She used to come into my bed every morning. She was always happy and really was a daddy’s girl.”

Describing how he became aware of Eve’s death, he said: “Police came to my house at 11:30pm after she (Leatherland) sent them on a wild goose chase to find me.

“I was in bed when I heard police radios. I opened the window and asked what they wanted. I said ‘what do you want, is it to do with my daughter’ and they just nodded.

"It was then that the world fell apart.

Eve Leatherland.

Eve Leatherland.

“When they told me Eve had passed away I just started sobbing. I can’t remember anything after that. I thought she died of a viral infection and didn’t stop crying for three days. I just sat there and watch videos of Eve, she was such a beautiful girl.”

Moving onto the trial process, Mr Bird added: “I was really angry, I just wanted to rip their heads off. I had all sorts of emotions going on and before the trial I didn’t know everything about the case and all of Eve’s injuries.

Dean is desperate to bury Eve close to his family home

“I looked at him (Curd) a couple of times and the anger just boiled up inside me. I saw him looking at me and we locked eyes.

“Now I’ve got to win the rights for Eve’s body so I can lay her to rest properly.”

Moving onto Leatherland, Mr Bird, who is awaiting treatment for Chrone’s Disease, recalled that he had been with her on and off for two years but hasn’t spoken to her since the day they split.

Dean Bird pictured with Eve before her death.

Dean Bird pictured with Eve before her death.

He said: “She has never been wicked but never used to feed the kids properly and was more worried about going out and drinking.

Dean Bird, the biological father of Eve Leatherland, who died in October 2017

“The trial has caused me so much stress and anxiety and I’m just so drained.

“I didn’t think anything like this would ever happen to me and Eve. It’s the kind of thing you see on the tele and I now have a totally different view on everything.”

THE WHOLE TRIAL

Trial starts into death of Mansfield Woodhouse toddler
Murder trial told Mansfield toddler was beaten, poisoned and left to die
Mansfield toddler was cold and blue when paramedics arrived to save her
Murder accused ‘laughed and joked’ as Mansfield toddler lay dead in a hospital bed
Jury told Mansfield toddler had enough codeine in her system to kill an adult
Mansfield toddler suffered 12 rib fractures and two skull fractures in the days before she died
Trial told Mansfield toddler could have been saved if paramedics were called earlier
Murder-accused mum tells of her bond with dead Mansfield toddler
Murder charge dropped against mum of Mansfield toddler
Tom Curd found guilty of murdering Mansfield toddler Eve Leatherland