Mitcham couple jailed for failing to prevent death of their 28-day-old daughter

The Mitcham parents of a 28-day-old baby who died after suffering repeated, deliberate injuries to her head, ribs and an eye. have been sentenced.

Her mother and father have been jailed today at the Old Bailey over the tragic death of Eva on September 1, 2017 at the family home.

Clare Sanders, 43, and Tomas Vaitkevicius, 45, both of Streatham Road, Mitcham, were sentenced to eight and nine years in prison respectively for causing or allowing Eva ’s death.

The nature of the case was horrifying enough to spark a comment from the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.

Clare Sanders, 43, and Tomas Vaitkevicius, 45, both of Streatham Road, Mitcham

An NSPCC spokesperson said: “This is a deeply shocking case in which a defenceless baby died in the care of two people who should have been nurturing and protecting her. Babies and young children are completely dependent upon the adults around them and Sanders and Vaitkevicius wilfully abandoned that responsibility with tragic consequences.”

Police were called by paramedics at 2.37am to their home to reports of a one-month-old girl who was unresponsive.

Eva was taken to hospital where she was placed on life support. She was pronounced dead just before 7pm on 2 September 2017.

The death was initially treated as unexplained, with the Child Abuse Investigation Team (CAIT) leading the investigation. Eva was found to have suffered non-accidental injuries to her head, ribs and an eye. Medical evidence showed that head and rib injuries were inflicted on more than one occasion during Eva’s short life.

An investigation was launched by Homicide detectives led by Detective Inspector Will White, and following enquiries, Clare Sanders and Tomas Vaitkevicius were arrested on suspicion of murder on September 29, 2017.

They were later charged by postal requisition on April 3, 2018 with murder, and with causing or allowing the death of their child, four-week-old Eva Sanders.

Detective Inspector Will White, of Specialist Crime South, said: “This is a tragic case where baby Eva died from extensive injuries at just 28 days old. Medical evidence in the case was emphatic in determining that the injuries sustained were non accidental.

“Neither parent offered any explanation to account for Eva’s injuries, and today they have been found guilty of causing or allowing Eva’s death. This is a tragic loss of an innocent life at the hands of those who were meant to love and care for her.’’

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