Mum's fake tears as she's arrested for son's murder after 'culture of cruelty'

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Mum's fake tears as she's arrested for son's murder after 'culture of cruelty'

This is the moment a mum cries fake tears as she and her tragic tot's stepdad were arrested on suspicion of murdering their 10-month-old boy.

Wicked Gemma Barton was found guilty of causing or allowing the death of a child but cleared of Jacob Crouch's murder following a trial at Derby Crown Court. Stepfather of the baby, Craig Crouch, was found guilty of his murder after the child endured a "culture of cruelty", suffered at least 39 rib fractures.

He died from a "vicious assault" at the hands of Crouch, the court heard. The pair will be sentenced at the same court on Friday as jurors were shown Barton pleading with police officers and claiming her innocence.

In the clip, she is seen to hold her face in shock while he tells officers they did not need to handcuff him. A jury unanimously found Crouch, 39, guilty of murder and other child cruelty charges.

Mum's fake tears as she's arrested for son's murder after 'culture of cruelty' erideuiqtqiqdrinvGemma Barton protested her innocence when police came to her door (Police Handout)

They found 33-year-old Barton not guilty of murder or manslaughter but guilty to causing or allowing little Jacob's death. A nine-week trial heard how little Jacob suffered broken ribs and internal injuries in the last week of his death as Barton and Crouch worked together to abuse and murder her son.

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She wept in the dock as she was cleared of murder but convicted of causing or allowing Jacob's death and of an extra count of child cruelty. His lifeless body was found on the morning of December 30, 2020, in Linton, Swadlincote.

Barton, from Heanor, and Crouch, from Moira, Swadlincote, both denied charges of murder, causing or allowing the death of a child, causing a child to suffer serious physical harm and three counts of child cruelty. Crouch, facing a life sentence for killing his baby stepson, sent his partner a chilling voice note boasting of his place at the top of the "chain of command" in his home.

Mum's fake tears as she's arrested for son's murder after 'culture of cruelty'Jacob Crouch's lifeless body was found in December 2020 (PA)
Mum's fake tears as she's arrested for son's murder after 'culture of cruelty'His killers are to be sentenced on Friday (PA)

He sent Barton the stomach-churning WhatsApp memo bragging of his authority in his job at JCB before saying "this also has to stand at home". The harrowing audio was sent as the pair carried out a campaign of abuse on her son, who died of peritonitis as a result of injuries they inflicted.

Derbyshire Police released the disturbing voice note Crouch sent his partner on the messaging app, boasting of a God-like complex where authority in the workplace must be replicated at home. In the clip, Crouch says: "As human beings we tend to follow a hierarchy. What this means is there always has to be a leader, in everything that we do."

He adds: "Look at workplace business, you would never have two managers or two directors or two team leaders over the same amount of people over the same department earning the same amount of money. You just wouldn't have it.

Mum's fake tears as she's arrested for son's murder after 'culture of cruelty'Crouch, 39, was later found guilty of murder and other child cruelty charges (Police Handout)

"You have a chain of command. For example, there is nobody here in exactly the same job that I have over the same people over the same departments. I answer for everyone. Everyone below me answers to me. If they f*** up, I get my a*** kicked, and then it goes down the chain of command. This also has to stand at home. There is always a hierarchy."

A post-mortem found Jacob died from peritonitis – an infection of the lining of the abdominal organs – caused by traumatic bowel perforation. A paediatrician said the cause of the perforation was likely inflicted deliberately, while a pathologist said the infection would likely have caused his body to shut down within hours or, at most, “a small number of days”.

Mum's fake tears as she's arrested for son's murder after 'culture of cruelty'Barton was found guilty of causing or allowing the death of a child
Mum's fake tears as she's arrested for son's murder after 'culture of cruelty'Craig Crouch is facing a life sentence

Discharging the jury on Wednesday, Mr Justice Kerr said: "It remains for me to thank you for your public service that you have done these last couple of months that must have been a very difficult task, and is very much appreciated. If you wish to be excused from future jury service, you are excused for a period of 10 years from today."

The judge added: "You are now discharged with heartfelt thanks from me." Both will be sentenced at the same court on Friday.

Sam Elliott-Gibbs

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