A couple are facing jail after staging the death of their baby daughter on a bus to cover up the fact that they had tortured the infant to death at home.
Jeffrey Wiltshire, 52 and Rosalin Baker, 25, were convicted of causing or allowing the death of 16-week-old Imani in September last year, but cleared of her murder.
Jurors were told that in the week of her death, Imani, who was on the child protection register, suffered 40 fractured ribs, a broken wrist and terrible head injuries.
Judge Nicholas Hilliard QC said: “Imani’s life must have been painful, distressing and bewildering.”
Rather than take her to hospital, an Old Bailey court heard the pair, who were both drug addicts and living on benefits, formed a “devious” plan to get away with their horrendous abuse of the child by faking her falling ill on a bus.
CCTV pictures showed Wiltshire kissing Baker and giving her a thumbs-up before she boarded a bus to Stratford, east London, carrying baby Imani on her chest in a sling.
During the course of the journey, Baker suddenly asked for help from other passengers for a problem that she said she had just identified with her daughter.
Finding the baby was not breathing, they did all they could to help, including giving her CPR and calling an ambulance.
Prosecutor Duncan Atkinson QC said: “They were panicking and distressed. In contrast, Baker was noted to be cold and calm… Baker sat to one side and sought to contact first her sister and then Wiltshire.”
Imani was pronounced dead in hospital and her parents went on to give a false account of what happened to police, even denying that Wiltshire was the father, the court heard.
During the trial, Baker blamed her violent and controlling boyfriend, accusing him of forcing her onto the bus with the dead infant.
Baker said: “The first thing I thought was he’s done something to her. When I looked at her she looked really bad. I thought she was dead.”
Wiltshire, a former rapper who claimed to have fathered 25 children, denied hurting his “tiny and beautiful” daughter, insisting: “I’m not a life taker, I’m a baby maker.”
The jury deliberated for 14-and-a-half hours before clearing them of murder but finding them guilty of causing or allowing the death of their daughter.
Detective Chief Inspector Gary Holmes, of Scotland Yard, said: “The loss of any child is tragic but to know that baby Imani was tortured and was probably in considerable pain in her last few hours is heart-rending.
“Baker and Wiltshire orchestrated the most devious of plans… their ruse quickly unravelled when medical professionals were able to determine that Imani had probably died up to 24 hours previously.”
The couple will be sentenced on 18 May.