More details about the case of Poppi Worthington, a British toddler who died in 2012 and whose case has made numerous headlines in the United Kingdom, have been revealed.
According to The Guardian, the toddler suffocated after she was assaulted, a coroner said. Her father assaulted the child before her passing, David Roberts, senior coroner for Cumbria, confirmed on Monday, Jan. 15.
Roberts stated that a conclusion of unlawful killing could not be reached as he wasn’t satisfied that Poppi died from murder or manslaughter beyond a reasonable doubt. He, however, said that the child was assaulted before her death, the report said.
Poppi’s ability to breathe was compromised by an “unsafe sleeping environment” after her father, Paul Worthington, took her from her bed and placed her next to him in his bed.
13-month-old Poppi Worthington was sexually abused before she died in 2012, coroner for Cumbria rules https://t.co/BYgnlfcNwy
— BBC Breaking News (@BBCBreaking) January 15, 2018
And Roberts told the BBC that her father’s account of events did not “stand up to scrutiny.”
Worthington said that he went to get Poppi a fresh diaper, and a few minutes later, he found her limp. He then went downstairs and told Poppi’s mother, who then called for an ambulance.
The 13-month-old child was pronounced dead at Furness General Hospital.
Roberts added that Poppi had been suffering from an upper respiratory tract infection. That, along with her position on her father’s bed, compromised her ability to breathe properly, the BBC reported.
Lawyers for Worthington said the man is “considering his options” following the coroner’s report.
Poppi Worthington died of asphyxia after sexual abuse in father's bed, coroner rules https://t.co/GhZZ99r2uc
— Sky News (@SkyNews) January 15, 2018
Worthington has denied any wrongdoing and hasn’t been charged with any crime. The Crown Prosecution Service said there is insufficient evidence, as the BBC reported.
The diaper that Poppi was wearing, along with her bottoms, were never recovered after her death, noted the Guardian. The paper reported that police only began investigating the case eight months after the girl’s death. They later arrested Worthington and Poppi’s mother, who, according to the Guardian, “cannot be named.”
The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) in 2016 said that senior detectives were “unstructured and disorganized” when investigating. The lengthy delay in the criminal investigation, meanwhile, was slammed “despite there being significant suspicious circumstances from the outset.”