Chilling letter mum and stepdad sent to neighbours after baby was killed

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Chilling letter mum and stepdad sent to neighbours after baby was killed
Chilling letter mum and stepdad sent to neighbours after baby was killed

A mum who allowed her baby son to die at the hands of her abusive boyfriend told neighbours the 10-month-old had suffered cot death, it has been reported.

Gemma Barton, 33, and her partner Craig Crouch, 39, met on Plenty of Fish while she was four months pregnant with little Jacob. The evil couple inflicted a horrific catalogue of abuse on the tot. They constructed a twisted letter begging locals not to send any sympathy cards as the child's death had left them in "so much pain". It claimed: "Devastatingly, we woke up to find him no longer with us."

The pair - who face sentencing today - delivered the note through neighbours' letterboxes on an estate in Linton, near Swadlincote, Derbyshire, having only moved in months before. Jacob was found dead on December 30, 2020, later being found to have suffered 39 rib fractures, 19 visible bruises and several internal injuries.

Chilling letter mum and stepdad sent to neighbours after baby was killed erideuiqtqiqdrinvEvil mum Gemma Barton
Chilling letter mum and stepdad sent to neighbours after baby was killedCraig Crouch murdered the baby (PA)

Crouch was convicted of murder this week, as well as three counts of child cruelty after a seven-week trial at Derby Crown Court. Barton was cleared of murder, an alternative charge of manslaughter and two counts of child cruelty, but was found guilty of causing or allowing the death of a child and a third count of child cruelty. Both face hefty jail terms.

In an enveloped typed letter, the sick pair addressed homeowners they barely knew with: "Good evening neighbours." The note - written on A4 paper in black ink and seen by the Daily Mail - added it was the "hardest letter I will ever have to write".

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It continued: "To make things easier for us over the next coming weeks we want to take this opportunity to explain why we had first response units, an ambulance and several police officers at our home.

Chilling letter mum and stepdad sent to neighbours after baby was killedJacob Crouch died aged just 10 months (PA)
Chilling letter mum and stepdad sent to neighbours after baby was killedJacob was murdered by his stepdad (PA)

"Devastatingly, we have lost our beautiful 10-month-old boy. We woke up Wednesday morning at 7am to find him no longer with us. 999 was called but sadly it was too late. We know some people who saw us regularly will ask us where our little boy is and we do not wish to relive our loss over and over.'

"Thank you for any kind thoughts you may have but we are also asking for people not to send us cards etc, we are in so much pain. Jacob will never be forgotten. Thank you for your time. Kind regards Craig & Gemma."

Next-door neighbour Rebecca Bayliss told the Mail she was "absolutely disgusted" with the pair and couldn't believe Barton got off with a "lighter conviction".

Ryan Merrifield

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