Couple staged baby's death on bus to cover torture of abused infant who died at home

CCTV still issued by the Metropolitan Police of Rosalin Baker being given the thumbs up by Jeffrey Wiltshire as she boards a bus, as the pair are facing jail over the death of their premature baby who was found lifeless on a bus.

CCTV still issued by the Metropolitan Police of Rosalin Baker being given the thumbs up by Jeffrey Wiltshire as she boards a bus, as the pair are facing jail over the death of their premature baby who was found lifeless on a bus.

A couple who staged a "cynical charade" on a bus to cover up their baby's torture and death at home have been jailed for 11 years.

Drug addicts Jeffrey Wiltshire, 52, and Rosalin Baker, 25, concocted a "devious" plan to get away with the horrific abuse of 16-week-old Imani which culminated in her death in September last year.

Photos issued by the Metropolitan Police of Jeffrey Wiltshire, 52, and Rosalin Baker, 25

Photos issued by the Metropolitan Police of Jeffrey Wiltshire, 52, and Rosalin Baker, 25

Baker blamed her abusive and controlling boyfriend and claimed he had tried to frame her by forcing her on to the bus with their dead child in a sling.

But former rapper Wiltshire, who claimed to have fathered 25 children, insisted: "I'm not a life taker, I'm a baby maker."

Following a trial at the Old Bailey last month, they were cleared of murder but convicted of causing or allowing the death of their daughter, who was on the child protection register.

Sentencing, Judge Nicholas Hilliard QC said Imani had been born prematurely and her last days must have been "terrifying, painful and bewildering".

He told her parents: "Both of you at all times put your interests before those of a helpless and dependent baby for whom you were responsible."

He said they had told so many lies about what happened that their credibility was "always in doubt".

Imani's fatal head injuries were likened to those from a road crash or falling from a first-floor window, he said.

Even though the jury could not be sure who was responsible, Judge Hilliard said that given the extent of her injuries he had concluded that whoever had done it intended really serious bodily harm.

He described the cover-up on the bus as a "cynical charade".

"You used the dead body of your daughter as part of an attempt to conceal what really happened."

In the week before Imani's death, Baker had moved from her mother's house in Colchester, Essex, into Wiltshire's bedsit in Newham, east London, where the whole family shared the same bed.

During that time, Imani was attacked three times and suffered 40 rib fractures, a broken wrist and terrible head injuries, jurors were told.

Wiltshire and Baker, who lived on benefits, attempted to hide what had happened by making it appear she had suddenly been taken ill on the number 25 bus, jurors were told.

On the morning of September 28, Wiltshire was caught on CCTV kissing Baker and giving her a thumbs up as she boarded the bus to Stratford, east London, with Imani's body strapped to her chest.

During the journey, she raised the alarm and passengers desperately tried to save Imani by giving her CPR and calling an ambulance.

Giving evidence, Baker blamed her boyfriend, who she described as a violent man who would get high on heroin and cocaine every day.

But Wiltshire denied hurting his "tiny and beautiful" daughter either intentionally or unintentionally, or witnessing anyone else injuring her.

The former rapper, who sometimes went by the name Pepper Head, said he had been out the night before Imani's death and came back in the early hours to find Baker in a grumpy mood and the baby off her milk.

In the morning, he told jurors, he returned from using a cashpoint to find Baker packing her bags to go back to Colchester with the baby.

Imani, who was already in the sling, made no noise and her face was covered by a cloth, he said.

He told jurors he would always kiss Baker goodbye and gave her a thumbs up that day as if to tell her to stay safe.

The maximum sentence for causing or allowing the death of a child is 14 years.