Foster carer jailed for life for murdering 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

A woman has been jailed for life for murdering a one-year-old girl who she was trying to adopt, after more than a decade of lies.

Katie Tidmarsh, 39, killed Ruby Thompson in August 2012, and was convicted yesterday following a trial at Leicester Crown Court.

She has been sentenced to life in prison with a minimum term of 17 years.

During her trial, the court heard the injuries caused to Ruby were equivalent to a fall from a second-storey window or a road accident at 60mph. Ruby had been violently shaken and her head had been bashed against a hard object, breaking her skull.In August 2012 emergency services were called to the couple's home in Pickwell Crescent, Glenfield, and Leicestershire Police arrived to find the baby unconscious and rushed her to Leicester Royal Infirmary. She died in hospital two days later.

Pickwell Lane in Leicester. Credit: Google Maps

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.

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.

The 39-year-old was told by sentencing judge Mr Justice Mark Wall that her victim was a “defenceless young child” and her actions “constituted a gross breach of trust”.

On Friday, the judge told Tidmarsh she was “ill-equipped” to raise a child due to her mental health difficulties, adding: “You also tried to cover up what you had done by delaying medical treatment for Ruby.”

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