Woman found guilty of murdering toddler she was adopting decade ago

Katie Tidmarsh, 39, was convicted at Leicester Crown court of killing Ruby Thompson more than a decade ago

Laura Elston
Friday 10 November 2023 03:05 GMT
Leicester Crown Court (Lucy Bogustawski/PA)
Leicester Crown Court (Lucy Bogustawski/PA)

A woman has been found guilty of murdering a one-year-old child she was in the process of adopting.

Katie Tidmarsh, 39, was convicted at Leicester Crown Court on Thursday of killing Ruby Thompson more than a decade ago, Leicestershire Police said.

The youngster, who had been in Tidmarsh’s foster care since her birth in 2011, died in 2012 after suffering catastrophic brain damage.

Police said Tidmarsh claimed Ruby was injured after her eyes rolled back and she fell onto a thick rug she was sitting on.

But medical experts proved the injury was caused by shaking and a high energy impact.

Tidmarsh and her husband were in the process of adopting Ruby when a 999 call was made from the family address in August 2012 saying she had suffered a seizure and was not breathing. She died two days later.

Medics treating Ruby spotted two previous fractures to her right shoulder on her X-rays, as well as a broken arm which she was treated for two weeks before, with Tidmarsh saying the youngster had been knocked over by one of her dogs.

The case took 11 years to come to court.

It followed an inquest, and then lengthy court proceedings in 2017 when a judge ruled Tidmarsh had inflicted the injuries which resulted in Ruby’s collapse and death.

This prompted a further consultation between the police and the CPS and the instruction of extra medical experts.

Tidmarsh, who was previously arrested in 2012 before facing no further action, was arrested again in 2022 and charged with murder.

Detective chief inspector Mark Sinski, who was the senior investigating officer, said: “It has taken over 10 years to get this case to court and reach a successful guilty verdict.

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

Detective Chief Inspector Mark Sinski

“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.

“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 onto 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.”

Tidmarsh, of Station Road, Littlethorpe, Leicester, was also charged with two counts of causing grievous bodily harm relating to the previous arm break injuries to Ruby. She was found guilty of one of these charges and not guilty of the other.

She is due to be sentenced at Leicester Crown Court on Friday.

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