Trial starts into death of Mansfield Woodhouse toddler

The trial into the death of a Mansfield Woodhouse toddler who died in Cornwall got underway today (March 11).

Eve Leatherland, aged just 22 months old, died in Liskeard, Cornwall, on October 5, 2017, at about 12.45pm.

Eve Leatherland

Eve Leatherland

Her father, Dean Bird, of Portland Street, Mansfield Woodhouse, said he had been left “crying his heart out” following Eve’s death.

And he said he was brought to tears again when he heard his ex-partner, Eve’s mum, Abigail Leatherland, had been charged with her murder.

Leatherland, aged 26, of Liskeard, Cornwall, and another of her former partners, 31-year-old Thomas Curd, of Watford, Hertfordshire, appeared at Truro Crown Court today charged with her murder and causing or allowing the death or serious injury to a child.

READ MORE: Mansfield dad left “crying his heart out” after ex charged with daughter’s murder

Most of the morning’s sitting in the court was taken up by legal arguments ahead of the start of the prosecution’s case.

No actual evidence was heard and it was decided that the jury would be sworn in first thing on Tuesday morning when the prosecution will open its case.

The remainder of the first scheduled day will be spent preparing documents and a witness batting order.

In October last year both defendants sat in the dock separated by two dock officers and entered not guilty pleas to a charge of murder.

Additionally, they both denied a count of causing or allowing the death of a child.

Police said at the time that an ambulance was called to an address in Liskeard around 12.45pm on October 5, 2017, and found the child unresponsive.

IN OTHER NEWS:

Report from the courts: Who’s been up before Mansfield Magistrates’ Court?
Sunday lunch ended in disaster for Sutton family after candle sparked huge blaze
Ex-Mansfield soldier died after being stung by wasp in new job as pest controller

A Devon & Cornwall Police spokesman said: “Police and ambulance were called to an address in Liskeard on October 5, 2017, at about 12.45pm, and found the child unresponsive.

“She was airlifted to Derriford Hospital, in Plymouth, but died shortly afterward.

“An investigation was launched by the major crime investigation team in Bodmin and the couple were charged on Wednesday, September 5.”

Mr Bird, 30, said he wants justice for his daughter.

Speaking in September 2018 Mr Bird, who owns A Touch Of Ink tattoo parlour on Portland Street, said: “I have been crying my eyes about it since I got the news they where charged.

“When the police told me, I couldn’t speak. I was sobbing my heart out, but I knew I still had to carry on and fight for my other kids.

“But her death does get me at night when no one is around – she meant everything to me.”

IN OTHER NEWS: Mansfield’s Labour mayoral candidate suspended in anti-semitism investigation

Mr Bird had an on-off relationship with Leatherland, living with her and Eve on Main Street, Farnsfield, for a time, and remained in contact until she moved to Cornwall in 2017.

He said Leatherland moved to Cornwall in spring 2017 “without telling him” even though he said they parted on “good terms”.

And while his name was not put on Eve’s birth certificate, he says he has “no doubt” she is his as “everything about her” looked like him, including the “same facial features”.

The trial continues.