Stratford baby bus death: Parents jailed for 11 years each

Rosalin Baker and Jeffrey Wiltshire Image copyright Met Police
Image caption Rosalin Baker and Jeffrey Wiltshire were acquitted of murder

A "devious" couple who staged their baby's death in a "cynical charade" on a bus have been jailed for 11 years.

Rosalin Baker, 25, and Jeffrey Wiltshire, 52, concocted the plan to cover up the horrific abuse of baby Imani at home.

The 16-week-old had 40 rib fractures, a broken wrist and fractured skull.

At the Old Bailey, Judge Nicholas Hilliard QC told the pair the child's last days must have been "terrifying, painful and bewildering".

They were convicted last month of causing or allowing Imani's death in September 2016, but were acquitted of murder.

Jurors were told Wiltshire and Baker attempted to hide what had happened by making it appear the baby had suddenly been taken ill on the number 25 bus.

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Media captionCCTV from the bus and the 999 call show passengers trying to save Imani

Injuries 'like car crash'

As he sentenced the couple, Judge Hilliard told them they had put their own interests "before those of a helpless and dependent baby".

Branding the pair serial liars, he said their credibility was "always in doubt".

"You used the dead body of your daughter as part of an attempt to conceal what really happened."

The court heard Imani's fatal head injuries were comparable to those sustained by road crash victims or in a fall from a first-floor window.

Even though the jury could not be sure who was responsible, Judge Hilliard said that, given the extent of her injuries he had concluded that whoever had done it intended really serious bodily harm.

He described the cover-up on the bus as a "cynical charade".

Image copyright Met Police
Image caption When Baker (left) raised the alarm, distraught passengers tried desperately to revive the baby girl

On the morning of 28 September, Wiltshire was caught on CCTV kissing Baker and giving her a thumbs-up sign as she boarded the bus to Stratford, east London, with Imani's body strapped to her chest.

During the journey, she raised the alarm and passengers desperately tried to save Imani by giving her CPR and calling an ambulance.

One woman who tried to give first aid to the baby girl said she was "still in shock".

"I cannot sleep any more. I cannot take the bus any more... it broke my heart," she said.

Image copyright Met Police
Image caption Wiltshire was filmed as he took Baker to the number 25 bus and signalled a thumbs up as he left

Baker had tried to blame her abusive and controlling boyfriend during the trial and claimed he tried to frame her by forcing her on to the bus with their dead child in a sling.

But former rapper Wiltshire, who claimed to have fathered 25 children, insisted: "I'm not a life taker, I'm a baby maker."

In the week before Imani's death, Baker had moved from her mother's house in Colchester, Essex, into Wiltshire's bedsit in Newham, east London.

It was during that time that Imani was attacked.

In a statement, children's charity the NSPCC described it as "a deeply disturbing case".

"We hope an upcoming serious case review provides much-needed answers about the circumstances surrounding this tragic death," it said.

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