A mum and her new boyfriend were ‘laughing and joking’ as her baby lay dying in hospital after they poisoned her to cover up a series of beatings, a court heard.
The child had a fractured skull, broken ribs and a ruptured liver but her mother Abigail Leatherland and boyfriend Tom Curd failed to seek help, it was claimed.
They then allegedly administered a fatal dose of codeine that eventually killed her.
The pair, who deny murder, gross negligence manslaughter and causing or allowing the death of a child, are currently on trial.
Jurors were told the couple were ‘wrapped up in their own superficial world of video games, TV, texts, selfies and Facebook’ as the 22-month-old lay dying a few feet away from them.
Prosecutors claim at least one of them is responsible for the injuries and subsequently sedating Eve with the fatal dose of powerful painkillers.
Sophie Brock, a nurse in Derriford Hospital’s emergency department, said the child ‘looked dead’ when she arrived on 5 October 2017.
‘She was very pale and I noticed bruising around the nappy line,’ Ms Brock added.
‘The bruising looked a couple of days old and there was also what looked like a splayed hand around the waist area.’
When Leatherland and Curd were brought to her bedside, Ms Brock said she was taken aback by her reaction to the bad news.
‘They told the doctor he had only moved in at the weekend but they’d been together a while,’ she said.
‘They said that Eve had been genuinely unwell and that she was tired, lethargic and sleeping a lot.
‘Tom explained that on the day he put Eve back to bed at 9:30am and Abigail woke up at 10:30am but didn’t check Eve. The next check was five minutes before the 999 call.’
She added: ‘The family friend Camille came in and they asked again if they could go for a cigarette.
‘They came back smiling and laughing away to themselves and that frustrated me slightly.
‘They asked for a cigarette again and I was quite firm and abrupt with them and said no. It was seconds between cigarettes.’
Ms Brock said she alerted the police after noticing a bloodshot area on Eve’s eye – an indicator of non-accidental injury.
When quizzed about her general condition, she added that Eve was very slim for her age, appeared pale and had dirty fingernails.
Specialist paediatric nurse Charlotte Durrant recalled how Leatherland, although looking upset after being informed her daughter would not survive, sat scrolling through her phone at the bedside.
The trial continues.