Unsolved Murders

Poppi Iris Worthington

Age: 1

Sex: female

Date: 12 Dec 2012

Place: Barrow in Furness, Cumbria

Source: www.cumbria.gov.uk

Poppi Worthington died from asphyxiation.

Her first inquest in 2014 returned a verdict that the cause of her death was unascertained.

Her second inquest in 2018 failed to deliver a clear verdict stating that she died from asphyxia and had suffered a sexual assault that had left her anus bleeding, although she had not died as a result of the assault. Her death was described as being due to an unsafe sleeping environment in a narrative verdict.

The 2018 verdict stated that the verdict of unlawful killing was not an option as there was no evidence for it. It also stated that the verdict of accidental death was an unavailable option because she had been assaulted and placed in an unsafe environment. It also concluded that death from natural causes was also not available. It also concluded that an open verdict was not appropriate because there was no apparent evidence missing. The Coroner said that as such he would return a narrative verdict, noting that:

'On the 12th December 2012 the Deceased was at her home address when, at some time a after 2.30 am, she was taken from her cot to a double bed where she was anally penetrated. She subsequently went to sleep in the double bed with an adult sleeping close to her. She was suffering from an upper respiratory tract infection and her ability to breathe was compromised by her unsafe sleeping environment. Shortly before 05.56 hours she was found to have stopped breathing. Resuscitation was commenced at her home and was continued by the emergency services and at the Furness General Hospital to where she was taken, but she was asystolic throughout. Despite resuscitation her death was pronounced at 07.07 hours at the Furness General Hospital, Barrow in Furness, Cumbria.'.

The narrative verdict returned read: 'The Deceased died as a result of her ability to breathe being compromised by an unsafe sleeping environment.'.

It was also heard that the police had lost significant evidence including the nappy that she had been wearing when found and had delayed taking tests of her private parts for some hours.

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