Tom Curd gets life in prison for murder of Mansfield toddler

A man has been sentenced to life in prison for a minimum of 20 years for the murder of Mansfield toddler Eve Leatherland.

Tom Curd, 31, from Watford, has faced trial at Truro Crown Court in Cornwall alongside his ex-partner Abigail Leatherland for the death of 22-month-old Eve.

Tom Curd.

Tom Curd.

Curd, who was convicted of murder yesterday, will face life in prison to serve a minimum 20 years, and will be on licence for the rest of his life if and when he is released.

Leatherland has also been sentenced to three and a half years in prison for causing or allowing the death of a child.

Addressing Curd Mrs Justice May said: “You wilfully failed Eve over and over again. You assaulted her and gave her codeine. For much of the time during her final days Eve was lying on a dirty mattress with no cover. It was a bleak, disorientating and comfortless way for her to go.”

Addressing Leatherland, she added: “You didn’t cause Eve’s death but allowed it to happen. I can’t find that it is a momentary of brief lapse.

Tom Curd.

Tom Curd.

“Multiple incidents of serious violence were inflicted by Curd and to cause them he must have used significant force.

“You (Leatherland) did not take any steps to protect Eve.

“I do believe you weren’t aware of the risk caused by Thomas Curd and up to that week you cared for your children and they were both happy and healthy.

"I bear in mind your remorse and the greatest punishment will be that you failed your daughter when she needed you and had you acted she’d still be alive.”

Abigal and Tom.

Abigal and Tom.

Truro Crown Court heard Eve Leatherland was beaten, poisoned and left to die, with the toddler having been administered "enough codeine to kill an adult" and found with 12 rib fractures and two skull fractures caused in the days leading up to her death in October 2017.

Leatherland, 26, formerly of Mansfield, and Curd were initially charged with murder, manslaughter by gross negligence and allowing or causing the death of a child.

However part-way through the trial the murder charges were dropped against Leatherland, with the blame placed "firmly at the feet of Curd".

Yesterday a jury found Curd guilty of murder and Leatherland guilty of causing or allowing the death of a child, but not guilty of manslaughter.

Baby Eve.

Baby Eve.

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Abigail Leatherland, Eve Leatherland, and Tom Curd.

Abigail Leatherland, Eve Leatherland, and Tom Curd.

Throughout the course of the three week trial the jury was told how Curd repeatedly beat Eve, fracturing her ribs and skull and lacerating her liver.

The injuries were inflicted on at least two separate occasions, some of Eve’s bones being re-fractured in identical places as they began to heal.

In a bid to mask the pain Eve was in and hide the injuries he had caused Curd then administered Eve with a dose of codeine, however he miscalculated the amount and eventually caused Eve the overdose that would eventually cost her life.

Eve was eventually airlifted to hospital but it was too late, medical experts stating their belief that she had been dead for some hours prior to her arrival.

The prosecution said that although they were in no doubt that Curd beat Eve and gave her the codeine, Leatherland failed in her duty of care by not seeking medical assistance sooner as Eve’s condition deteriorated.

Leatherland had said that she had no idea of Eve’s suffering at the hands of her boyfriend of a few months and put her drowsiness down to a viral infection, but the jury ruled that she must have been at least partly aware of what was going on.

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

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