Unsolved Murders

Poppy Widdison

Age: 4

Sex: female

Date: 10 Jun 2013

Place: Grimsby

Poppy Widdison died from a heart attack. Whilst her post-mortem was inconclusive, a family court judge ruled that she had died after being assaulted by either her mother or her mother's partner.

Although her post-mortem could not identify the cause of her death, it found that she had been ingesting a large amount of heroin and methadone for between two and six months before she died.

Her parents were convicted of child cruelty and sentenced to 13 years each.

It was heard that they would both encourage Poppy Widdison to eat sedatives because she was an inconvenience to their relationship, and they would sedate her when they wanted to have sex.

A text message was shown in court that referred to having given Poppy Widdison a 'blue Smartie', which was said to be diazepam along with reference to going to sleep. The text message read, 'Got a bottle of wine if u wanna share. She can have a blue Smartie and go sleep. Lol! XXX'. In a further text she wrote, 'Do you wanna share this wine... Get them blue Smarties ready - the one she likes! Lol XXX'.

The family court heard that either her mother or her mother's partner were responsible for Poppy Widdison's death but could not determine which of them had done it because they refused to tell the truth.

The family court judge said that Poppy Widdison had been assaulted on the morning of 9 June 2013, shortly before 8.41am, by being shaken or by being subject to a shaken impact type event, or after receiving a blow to the head, which was evidenced by retinal haemorrhage. The family court judge said that that caused Poppy Widdison to suffer a respiratory arrest and then a cardiac arrest.

Poppy Widdison also had bruising to her buttocks and lower back which the family court judge said was due to having been beaten, noting that it was not due to Poppy Widdison playing on a trampoline as her mother had suggested.

Poppy Widdison died the next day 10 June 2013.

It was heard that Poppy Widdison's mother and her partner were drug addicts and that when Poppy Widdison was born she suffered withdrawal symptoms because of her mother's heroin addiction.

It was also heard that medical officials were concerned enough about Poppy Widdison's care that they arranged a meeting with her parents three weeks before she was born to discuss it.

It was also noted that it was probably not a coincidence that Poppy Widdison had been named after the Poppy plant from which heroin is made.

The man that Poppy Widdison's mother was living with at the time that she died was a drug dealer. Poppy Widdison's mother had started to see her new partner, the drug dealer, after her own partner, Poppy Widdison's father, who was also a crack cocaine addict, was sent to prison.

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