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Cocaine user 'scalded daughter, 1, to death and left her to scream in pain'

A cocaine user is accused of scalding her daughter to death then leaving her to scream in pain while ‘covering her tracks’.

Gracie Crowder, who was 19 months old, suffered 65% burns to her body area and was pronounced dead shortly after arriving at hospital on March 6.

Her mum, Katie Crowder, is accused of murder in a trial at Nottingham Crown Court which started yesterday.

The prosecution alleges Crowder, 26, killed the child by exposing her to hot water at her home in Wharmby Avenue in Mansfield, and then spent the next hour ‘clearing up’ the scene to ‘cover her tracks’.

She then took her daughter to her parents’ house on the same street.

When she arrived at Paul and Karen Crowder’s house, the defendant sounded ‘panicked’ as she knocked on their door before telling her parents ‘she’s dead, she’s dead’.

Prosecutor Sally Howes QC said after Gracie suffered a cardiac arrest, Crowder’s mum asked the accused, ‘What the hell have you done?’ to which she responded, ‘I don’t know, I found her like this.’

Jurors heard Crowder told police she had been ‘cleaning up a mess from the puppy’ and found her daughter face down in the bathroom next to a mop bucket.



But the prosecution said a Home Office pathologist had concluded the child would have cried out ‘vigorously’ until pain was relieved, and she would not have suffered organ failure for around an hour.

Opening the case, Ms Howes said: ‘It is the Crown’s case that you can be sure Gracie Crowder was killed by a deliberate and unlawful act by her mother.

‘Gracie Crowder’s death was not an instant death. It would have taken in the region of one hour for her to die.

‘You may ask – why the delay in calling for help?

‘It is the Crown’s case that the delay was Katie Crowder covering her tracks – she knew what she had done.


‘She was clearing up, she was clearing away, she was thinking about a way of explaining what she had done.’

Ms Howes said the amount of cocaine found in Crowder’s blood four hours after the incident indicated the defendant had taken the class A drug in the hour before Gracie’s death.

The court was told Crowder had made comments about her daughter in the past like: ‘I need to get her to nursery, I never get a break at all.’

When she was arrested in King’s Mill Hospital in Sutton in Ashfield, Nottinghamshire, Crowder said: ‘What? I would never hurt her.’

Crowder denies murder. The trial continues.

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