Coroner Delivers Conclusion In Second Inquest
Poppi Worthington’s mother says she is both relieved and devastated to finally have some answers about what happened to her daughter after the coroner delivered his conclusion following the second inquest into her sudden death.
The 13-month-old child collapsed suddenly at a house in December 2012, before being pronounced dead at Furness General Hospital shortly afterwards.
While a first inquest ruled that her death was unexplained, a High Court hearing ruled that initial inquest as “irregular” and a fresh inquest was then opened at the end of November 2017.
Now, after hearing several weeks of evidence from almost 40 witnesses, David Roberts, the senior coroner for Cumbria, has delivered a narrative conclusions stating that there was sufficient evidence to say that symptoms and injuries to Poppi Worthington were caused by penetration.
During the hearing Poppi’s father Paul Worthington repeatedly refused to answer questions by using his legal right not to provide answers which could possibly incriminate himself. He denies assaulting his daughter and has never been charged. The coroner said that he believes Mr Worthington's account of what happened to Poppi did not stand up to scrutiny and that he could not rely on his statements as a true and reliable account. He said that sometime after 2.30am she was taken from her cot to her father’s room and abused.
Fiona McGhie, a lawyer at Irwin Mitchell representing Poppi’s mother, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said on her behalf:
Expert Opinion“The past five years have been a complete nightmare for her. Not knowing what happened to Poppi on that day, and knowing that there were evidence gathering failures by the police in the very early stages of the investigation has made things even worse.
“She is disappointed that Poppi’s father chose to rely on his right not to answer questions which may incriminate him. Whilst she understands he is entitled to do this, she considers that the coroner’s inquiry has been frustrated by this, she considers he should have given the coroner the crucial evidence of Poppi’s last few hours.
“This is now the third time a court has found, on the balance of probabilities, that Poppi was anally penetrated prior to death and my client hopes that the CPS will take another look at this case.
“She is grateful to the coroner for his thoroughness throughout the inquest and she is relieved that despite there being some gaps she is now closer to the truth, even though that truth is devastating.
“She asks that her privacy is respected at this difficult time." Fiona McGhie - Senior Associate Solicitor