Mansfield toddler's mum blamed former partner for daughter's death

A mother on trial accused of killing her 22-month-old daughter told police that she didn’t lay a finger on her child and that her then-boyfriend was the only person who could have hurt her.

Thomas Curd, 31, from Watford and Abigail Leatherland, 26, formerly of Mansfield, are currently on trial at Truro Crown Court both charged with murder, manslaughter by gross negligence, and causing or allowing the death of a child.

Abigail Leatherland, baby Eve, and Thomas Curd.

Abigail Leatherland, baby Eve, and Thomas Curd.

The prosecution has now finished its case and claims that either one or both of Curd and Leatherland subjected Leatherland’s young daughter Eve to beatings which resulted in her fracturing her skull and ribs and lacerating her liver.

Some of the injuries were repeat fractures, something prosecuting barrister Sean Brunton QC said meant there was at least one episode of violence towards her.

Eve eventually died after being administered a fatal dose of codeine, enough to kill an adult person.

It is alleged that Eve had been dead some time before the emergency services were called.

Baby eve.

Baby eve.


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On Friday (March 22) the jury was read a transcript of Leatherland’s second police interview.

When questioned she replied: “I haven’t touched her (Eve). It was Tom. They (medical experts) said it couldn’t be L (Leatherland’s other child who Cornwall Live has chosen not to identify). Tom was the only one looking after her.”

It was then put to Leatherland that in such a small house, officers believed it was inconceivable that she didn’t know anything about the alleged abuse.

She answered: “If I knew he (Curd) was doing that I wouldn’t have had him in my house. Looking back at it he was controlling and he was quite hands on with Eve. All I wanted was a family.

“I am not going to get my daughter back and that’s punishment enough. The day I split up with Tom he told me there was something he needed to tell me but he never told me what it was.”

Leatherland and Curd had only been together a few months when he moved down from Watford to be with her.

The court then heard how during police searches Eve’s bedding was found in the washing machine. Her mattress was later found in the attic and her cot dismantled.

Curd and Leatherland deny the charges against them. The trial continues.


Day One: Trial starts into death of Mansfield Woodhouse toddler
Day Two: Murder trial told Mansfield toddler was beaten, poisoned and left to die
Day Three: Mansfield toddler was cold and blue when paramedics arrived to save her
Day Four: Murder accused ‘laughed and joked’ as Mansfield toddler lay dead in a hospital bed
Day Five: Jury told Mansfield toddler had enough codeine in her system to kill an adult
Day Six: Mansfield toddler suffered 12 rib fractures and two skull fractures in the days before she died
Day Seven: Trial told Mansfield toddler could have been saved if paramedics were called earlier