Poppi Worthington death

MP Woodcock meets ministers to push for 'Poppi's Law'

The Barrow and Furness MP John Woodcock is meeting government ministers this afternoon to try to block legal loopholes which he says left the toddler Poppi Worthington unprotected in the months before her death.

Poppi Worthington
Family photo

Poppi died, in circumstances that have never been fully explained, at her home in 2012, and investigations afterwards showed that although her mother had a long history of contact with children's services, health visitors and social services were not aware of her vulnerability.

Mr Woodcock is proposing a "Poppi's Law", which would require the relevant history of pregnant women and their partners to be visible to health visitors and pre-natal NHS staff.

He says this would allow social workers to make more informed decisions about the level of protection to give children born into families with a history of vulnerability.

Ahead of the meeting, Mr Woodcock said having ministers from three government departments coming together to hear the case showed the government was taking the issues seriously.

The circumstances of Poppi’s death shocked the nation and bitterly hurt our community, this is an obvious and achievable common-sense change to strengthen child protection in her memory.”

John WoodcockIndepdendent MP for Barrow and Furness

Judge publishes ruling against Poppi's father

A High Court judge has published the detailed reasons why he refused the father of the Barrow toddler Poppi Worthington, permission to have parts of the coroner's findings removed from the record of the inquest into her death.

Paul Worthington's legal team said the coroner concluded that Poppi suffocated while sleeping in the same bed as her father, and that the sexual assault was not a cause of her death

Therefore, lawyers for Mr Worthington told a High Court trial, there should be no reference in the coroner's findings to the sexual assault because it was not relevant.

Cumbria's senior coroner David Roberts, who presided at the inquest this time last year, said the assault by Mr Worthington was part of the "factual matrix" that led to Poppi's death, and the three judges sitting in the hearing agreed

In the judgement published in full today, Lord Justice Higginbottom says the assault finding "was essential to explain why Poppi was in the unsafe sleeping environment which caused her death," and the record would be deficient without it.

Poppi Worthington
Family photo

Poppi's mother 'relieved' as judge refuses father's appeal

The mother of Poppi Worthington has welcomed a court ruling that the record of the inquest into her daughter's death should not be changed.

The coroner's report said the cause of death in 2012 was probably asphyxiation, but also said she had, on the balance of the evidence, been sexually assaulted before her death.

The toddler's father, Paul Worthington, claimed this should not have been part of the findings, but the High Court ruled against him.

Poppi Worthington
Family photo

Fiona McGhie, a lawyer at Irwin Mitchell representing Poppi's mother, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said on her behalf:

The years since Poppi died have been a complete nightmare for her.

She was very disappointed that he tried to challenge the coroner rather than accepting his findings but is relieved at today's decision."

Poppi Worthington: Father loses bid to have inquest changed

A High Court judge has rejected a bid by the father of Poppi Worthington to change the official record of the inquest into her death by removing any mention of sexual assault.

At an earlier hearing, Paul Worthington's lawyers claimed a coroner had "overstepped the mark" at the inquest into the 13-month-old's death in 2012.

Paul Worthington
Kelvin Media

They said that when David Roberts (pictured below), senior coroner for Cumbria, officially recorded the circumstances of her death following the inquest in January, he included matters that were not the cause of death.

However, Mrs Justice Farbey, sitting at the High Court in Manchester, ruled the coroner's approach "cannot be faulted" and, in a 17-page legal judgement, ordered Mr Worthington, who is on legal aid, should pay the court costs, subject to his ability to pay.

David Roberts

Poppi: Coroner should not have included abuse, says lawyer

Lawyers for Paul Worthington, the father of the Barrow toddler Poppi Worthington who died six years ago in unexplained circumstances, have told a High Court judge the coroner at an inquest last year included the long-running allegation that he had sexually abused his daughter, when he should have not mentioned it.

Paul Worthington
Kelvin Media

This morning Mr Worthington's barrister, Leslie Thomas QC, said the conclusion of the 87-page ruling by Cumbria's senior coroner, David Roberts, referred to sexual abuse, although he had ruled that the cause of death was not abuse, but asphyxiation as she slept in her father's bed.

"He has overstepped the mark," said Mr Thomas. "What's included in box three are matters that did not cause death."

Samantha Leek QC, representing the coroner, said the abuse was part of the "wider factual matrix" giving rise to her death and Mr Thomas was trying to restrict the record of inquest to the immediate medical cause of death.

"It would be completely artificial to leave that out, it was the central issue in the inquest."

The judge, Mr Justice Hickenbottom told the lawyers he would reserve judgment until a later date.

Poppi Worthington: Father starts new legal challenge

The father of the Barrow toddler Poppi Worthington, who was said by a judge and a Coroner to have probably sexually abused her before she died, is applying for a judicial review.

Poppi's death in 2012 at the age of 13 months has never been satisfactorily explained and was the subject of a lengthy second inquest a year ago.

Poppi Worthington
Family photo

Paul Worthington, who's living in hiding, has never been charged with a criminal offence and denies any wrongdoing.

Today in Manchester he began a judicial challenge to some of the evidence presented at the inquest, with the first session being taken up with a technical explanation of the claim.

PCC says 'everything possible' done to learn Poppi lessons

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Ellis Butcher

Cumbria's Police and Crime Commissioner has told a meeting that "everything possible" has been done to avoid making mistakes like those in the investigation into the death of the Barrow toddler Poppi Worthington.

Peter McCall

Peter McCall presented a report today to the committee of county councillors that scrutinises his work.

He said: "We are dealing with people and people can make mistakes, but I think it's fair to say that everything humanly possible has been done."

Mr McCall said as a result of the errors made in the investigation, Cumbria Police had carried out 250 recommendations and had been thoroughly inspected in 2016 and 2017.