A court has heard the testimonies of two paramedics who told of their desperate attempts to resuscitate the lifeless body of a Mansfield toddler who had allegedly been repeatedly beaten and poisoned with codeine.
The trial of Thomas Curd, 31, from Watford, and Abigail Leatherland, 26, formerly of Mansfield was opened on Tuesday.
Both Leatherland and Curd are on trial at Truro Crown Court charged with murder, manslaughter by gross negligence, and causing or allowing the death of a child. They both deny the charges and say they were not responsible for the injuries Eve sustained in the build-up to her death or the administration of the codeine.
Eve Leatherland died in October 2017 at her home in Liskeard, Cornwall, a property she lived in with her mother Abigail Leatherland and her mother’s boyfriend of a few months, Tom Curd.
Abigail Leatherland, formerly of Main Street Farnsfield left Mansfield for Cornwall a few months before.
The jury was told on Tuesday of how 22-month-old Eve Leatherland suffered a fractured skull, broken ribs and a lacerated liver in the days leading up to her death. Injuries that were sustained in the home she shared with the defendants that could have proved fatal in their own right, the court heard.
All the while the partners of just a few months are said to have been “wrapped up in their own superficial world of video games, TV, texts, selfies and Facebook” while Eve gradually died just feet away.
The prosecution claims that at least one of the defendants was responsible for inflicting the injuries and sedating Eve with the fatal dose of codeine, and that she had been dead for some time before a call was made to the emergency services.
On day two of the trial the jury was played audio footage of the 999 call made by Leatherland and Curd on October 5 2017.
Leatherland, who was reduced to tears in the dock, could be heard telling the call handler that her daughter was not breathing, before handing the phone to Curd who was given directions on how to carry out emergency CPR.
Taking to the stand next was Liskeard-based paramedic Neil Jones.
He described being called to the scene at 12.44pm following reports a child was in cardiac arrest.
He said: “Outside the property was a young woman in a distressed state and in front of a fire there was a small child lying on a rug.
“No pulse was found around her neck and she was not breathing at that time. She had a small amount of blood on her cheeks and I noticed a bruise on her pelvis.”
Mr Jones said that along with colleague Adrian Wood he carried out advanced life support, then placed a cannula into Eve’s leg as a means of providing emergency medication.
He added: “A defibrillator was placed on the child and from being turned on it showed no electoral activity in the heart at that time.”
According to Mr Jones, Eve was then placed onto a vacuum splint to be moved into the ambulance outside.
When asked if he noticed anything unusual about Eve when she was moved he said “when I came to put her arms in and fold her arms I noticed no flexion at the elbow, the arm came across as one unit”.
“I said to Adrian she felt stiff and thought there was a potential for rigor mortis to have set in.”
Mr Jones went onto detail how Curd had been quiet when he transferred him to hospital and that he had concerns regarding the timeline of what Leatherland and Curd had told him in regards to how long Eve had been in cardiac arrest. He added that her fingers and toes had felt a little cold.
Also giving evidence, Mr Jones’ boss Mr Wood who joined him in providing CPR treatment to Eve said that she had no circulation, wasn’t breathing and had some blueness to the lips.
Mr Wood said that Eve was displaying “no signs of life” when they arrived.
Both Curd and Leatherland deny the charges against them. The trial continues.