Woman convicted for murder of baby she was trying to adopt after decade of lies

091123 KATIE TIDMARSH - ITV News Central - Leicestershire Police - Ellen Knight
Katie Tidmarsh has been convicted for the 2012 murder of one-year-old Ruby Thompson Credit: Leicestershire Police/Google Street View

A woman has been convicted of murdering a one-year-old girl she was trying to adopt after more than a decade of lies.

Katie Tidmarsh was convicted on Thursday 9 November for killing Ruby Thompson in August 2012, following a trial at Leicester Crown Court.

Ruby was placed in foster care after her birth in July 2011 and lived with Tidmarsh and her husband from March 2012 at their home in Pickwell Close, a quiet suburban street in Leicester.

The married couple had been approved to adopt the one-year-old but the legal adoption process wasn't complete at the time of the murder.

A 999 call was made from the house on the morning of 11 August 2012, saying that Ruby had suffered a seizure and wasn't breathing.

Pickwell Close in Leicester. Credit: Google Street View

She was taken to hospital where medics found she had "catastrophic brain damage."

An X-ray found that Ruby had a broken arm - the child had been taken to hospital two weeks earlier, where Tidmarsh claimed she had been knocked over by a dog.

The one-year-old girl died two days later.

A post-mortem found that Ruby had a "blunt force impact to the back of the head", and another examination of the broken arm found two more fractures to the same area.

In November 2012, Tidmarsh and a man were arrested on suspicion of murder.

In police interviews they both said that "the man had been outside when Tidmarsh came rushing out saying Ruby was not breathing."

Tidmarsh went on to claim she and the one-year-old girl had been sat inside on a rug when "suddenly Ruby’s eyes rolled back and she fell backwards."

Leicestershire Police eventually submitted a file to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) in December 2013 to consider a charge of murder.

But a decision was made in February 2014 by the CPS not to proceed with the charges against those arrested - and both were released without any further action.

Katie Tidmarsh evaded justice for more than a decade. Credit: Leicestershire Police

An inquest into Ruby's death found that she died from a head injury - but its cause could not be established.

Years later in 2017, a court hearing rule that Tidmarsh had caused the injuries that led to the little girl's death.

After this, the police, the CPS, and medical experts were able to gather enough evidence to authorise a murder charge for Tidmarsh.

Finally in July 2022, Tidmarsh was arrested at an address in Littlethorpe and charged with the murder of Ruby Thompson.

The 39-year-old was also charged with two counts of causing grievous bodily harm for the injuries to Ruby's arm - she was found guilty of one charge, but not the other.

Detective Chief Inspector Mark Sinski said: "It has taken over ten years to get this case to court and reach a successful guilty verdict.

"We never lost hope in seeking justice for Ruby and the absolute determination and commitment from the investigation and prosecution team has been undeniably vital in today’s result."

He continued: "The evidence presented to the court, evidence from some of top medical experts in their respective fields, proved that Ruby’s head injury was caused by shaking and a high-energy impact and not from a low fall on to a thick rug as Tidmarsh had claimed.

"Tidmarsh has evaded justice since 2012 and will now be facing a lengthy sentence for her actions in taking the life of a young child, a child who was placed in her care to give her what was believed to be a better life.

"This has clearly been a very sad and tragic case and on reaching this verdict, I hope that Ruby can finally rest in peace."

Janine McKinney, from the CPS, said: "Little Ruby was barely a year old when her life was ended by an act of violence at the hands of the person caring for her.

"Katie Tidmarsh denied any violence or intent and tried explaining Ruby’s injuries in all manner of ways, but the truth was that it was she who inflicted the injuries that killed her. 

"Ruby’s death was devastating to all those who loved her. Our thoughts and sympathies are with them. I hope that getting the answers to what happened back in 2012 will be of comfort to them."

Tidmarsh is due to be sentenced at Leicester Crown Court on Friday 10 November.

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