Mum who murdered 19-month-old daughter by scalding her with hot water jailed

An evil mum has been jailed for life for scalding her tragic toddler daughter to death.

19-month-old Gracie Crowder was discovered with horrific burns at her family home in Mansfield, Notts, in March.

The youngster was rushed to Kings Mill hospital by paramedics but died a short time later from her injuries.

Her mum Katie Crowder told police she left a full bucket of hot water in the hall to clean up after their puppy.

But jurors decided the 26-year-old, who had cocaine in her system when arrested, deliberately scalded her daughter.

She then spent an hour “cleaning up” before taking Gracie to her parents’ house in the same street.

Jailing Crowder for life with a minimum term of 21 years at Nottingham Crown Court on Wednesday, Mr Justice Jeremy Baker said the crime was “as disturbing as it is tragic”, adding that the little girl would have been in “intense pain”.

He said: “You poured a significant quantity of scalding water over Gracie’s face and body while she was sat in a pool of equally hot water, causing deep burns to at least 65% of the surface of her skin.

“It is clear from the medical evidence that this would have caused Gracie intense pain, that would have led her to cry out vigorously, become distressed and seek to physically escape from the source of the heat.

“Furthermore, her death would not have occurred swiftly; on the contrary, Gracie would have continued to suffer pain and distress for a significant period of time – an hour or more.”

The judge added: “For whatever reason, instead of seeking prompt medical attention for Gracie, which may well have saved her life, you did not seek assistance from your parents, who lived a few doors away, until after Gracie had died.

“Thereafter all attempts to save her life, both by the paramedics at the scene and doctors at the hospital, were rendered futile.”

Miranda Moore QC, defending, said Crowder “loved” her daughter and had never previously harmed the youngster.

“This is a woman that up until that point loved and cared for that child,” she told Nottingham crown court.

“Something must have tipped her over the edge that night.”

Crowder’s trial heard that, on arrival at her parents’ house, the defendant sounded “panicked” as she knocked on the door, telling Paul and Karen Crowder: “She’s dead, she’s dead.”

Mrs Crowder asked her daughter “What the hell have you done?”, to which she responded: “I don’t know, I found her like this.”

The killer had made comments about her child in the past, saying: “I need to get her to nursery, I never get a break at all.”

She was arrested at King’s Mill Hospital in Sutton-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire, and, when cautioned, replied: “What? I would never hurt her.”

Crowder had denied but was convicted of murder last month and handed a life term by Mr Justice Baker today.

He said she must serve at least 21 years behind bars before she can be considered for parole.

The judge said: “What you did represented a gross breach of trust as a parent of a very young child.

“Not only has Gracie lost her life as a result of what you did to her that morning, you have also lost your daughter.”