Woman is cleared of bath death of toddler

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The Independent Online
(First Edition)

A MOTHER of three left the Old Bailey in tears yesterday after she was cleared of murdering a two-year-old girl by deliberately dipping her in a bath of scalding water.

Judge John Murchie directed the jury to acquit Toyin Taiwo, 26, of both murder and manslaughter charges. He told the jury that experts could not rule out the possibility that Tega Unnajowhofia, who Mrs Taiwo was looking after for a friend, had burned herself by turning on the tap while she was alone in the bathroom.

The prosecution had alleged that Mrs Taiwo held the child by her left leg and arm and immersed her in a bath of scalding water as a punishment at her home in Camberwell, south London. The child received 20 per cent burns to her right arm, leg, buttocks and genital area and later died in hospital.

Mrs Taiwo told police the girl had soiled her knickers and she had taken her into the bathroom, removed her clothes and left her standing in an empty bath.

When she came back the hot tap was on, Tega was crying and when she tried to pull her out of the bath the skin peeled off in her hand.

The jury, which went to the house, was told the water was hotter than normal because of a faulty thermostat.

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