Baby 'bus death' couple facing years behind bars

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A couple who tried to cover up their baby's torture and death at home by staging the discovery of her body on a bus are facing years behind bars.

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.

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.

Judge Nicholas Hilliard QC, who will sentence on Thursday, warned the pair they would go to prison for failing to protect their daughter. 

He told them: "Imani's life must have been painful, distressing and bewildering, and the failure at the very least to protect her is a serious matter indeed that must result in a custodial sentence."

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 last year, 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, Baker 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 injure 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 that 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.