Life sentence for woman found guilty of murdering a child in 2012
Main article content
A woman convicted of murdering a one-year old child in 2012 has been jailed for life, with a minimum term of 17 years.
Katie Tidmarsh was convicted yesterday (Thursday 9 November) of the murder of Ruby Thompson in August 2012 following a five-week trial at Leicester Crown Court.
Today (Friday), at the same court, she was sentenced for her crimes.
Ruby, who was placed in foster care following her birth in July 2011, began living with Katie Tidmarsh and her husband in March 2012 at their address in Pickwell Close, Leicester.
The couple had been approved for adoption and were in the process of adopting Ruby but the legal adoption process had not been completed.
On the morning of 11 August 2012, a 999 call was made from the family address saying that Ruby had suffered a seizure. It was later stated on the call that Ruby was not breathing.
Ruby was taken to hospital and clinicians treating her discovered she had catastrophic brain damage.
During her treatment, an x-ray found that Ruby had sustained a broken bone in her arm around two weeks before. Ruby had been taken to hospital at the time after Tidmarsh claimed that Ruby had been knocked over by one of her dogs.
Despite the care and efforts of hospital staff, Ruby sadly died two days later.
An initial post-mortem examination carried out found that Ruby had sustained a blunt force impact to the back of the head.
In light of the broken bone injury, later examination of Ruby's arm revealed two different fractures to the same area – the upper part of her right arm in the shoulder area.
In November of that year, as the police investigation continued Tidmarsh and a man were arrested on suspicion of murder.
In interview they both maintained that the man had been outside when Tidmarsh had come rushing out saying Ruby was not breathing. Tidmarsh claimed that she and Ruby had been sat inside on a rug together when suddenly Ruby’s eyes rolled back and she fell backwards.
The police investigation later secured opinions from professors and doctors in several medical fields regarding Ruby’s injuries.
Following a lengthy and complex investigation all the evidence gathered by police was submitted in a file to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) in December 2013 to consider a charge for murder.
A decision was made by the CPS in February 2014 not to proceed with any charges against those arrested and both were released from police bail with no further action.
A subsequent inquest was held into Ruby’s death which concluded she died from a head injury; the cause of which could not be established.
In 2017, Tidmarsh became subject to separate court proceedings and additional medical experts were instructed for this hearing, alongside specialist reports, surrounding Ruby’s case.
At the conclusion of the court hearing, the Judge ruled that Tidmarsh had inflicted the injuries which resulted in Ruby’s collapse and death.
This led to further consultation between the police and the CPS and following additional medical expert evidence obtained by the police, a charge of murder was authorised against Tidmarsh.
Thirty-nine-year-old Tidmarsh was arrested at her address in Littlethorpe in July 2022 and charged with murder.
She was also charged with two counts of causing grievous bodily harm relating to the previous arm break injuries caused to Ruby. She was found guilty of one of these charges and not guilty of the other.
Detective Chief Inspector Mark Sinski, who was the senior investigating Officer, said: “It has taken over ten years to get this case to court and reach a successful guilty verdict.
“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 on to 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.”