No Extra Charges Brought Against Poppy Widdison’s Mum – Despite Family Court Ruling The Little Girl Died Following Assault
A mum and ex-partner jailed over the death of her daughter Poppy Widdison who was given drugs they named ‘Smarties’ will not face further charges, it has emerged.
Michala Pyke, 38, and John Rytting, 40, were both jailed for 13 years each last week for their neglect of the four-year-old.
During their trial, the court heard the couple plied Poppy with drugs to make her fall asleep so they could have sex.
Since their conviction a family court ruling has revealed that Pyke or Rytting is believe to have assaulted Poppy following months of cruelty.
But the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said no new charges will be brought against the pair following the family court ruling made by Judge Clive Heaton QC.
A post-mortem examination following Poppy’s death revealed bruising on her buttocks, upper arms and the backs of her thighs.
However neither Pyke nor Rytting were charged with manslaughter or murder.
Judge Heaton said in his ruling that one of the pair assaulted Poppy on the morning of June 9, 2013.
The assault, described in court as a “shaking or shaking impact type event”, resulted in Poppy suffering respiratory arrest and then cardiac arrest.
Poppy died the next day on June 10.
Judge Heaton said: “I unhesitatingly come to the conclusion that Poppy Widdison was subjected to a serious traumatic event on the morning of June 9 shortly before 8.41am.
“Part of the assault involved Poppy being subjected to a shaking or shaking impact type event.
The consequence was Poppy went into respiratory arrest, then cardiac arrest, then she lost her life.”
During their child cruelty child the one charge which specifically mentioned an assault involving bruising, was dropped by the prosecution and no evidence was offered.
Catherine Ainsworth, senior district Crown prosecutor for the Crown Prosecution Service in Yorkshire and Humberside, said: “As part of our case preparation, we considered the detailed evidence from a number of different medical experts.
“This, ultimately, was inconclusive as there was no clear agreement between them on exactly how Poppy died and who was responsible for that.
“The burden of proof in the criminal court is very high.
“In order to find a person guilty, the jury have to be sure that the defendant was guilty of the crime with which they have been charged.
“In this case, we did not have sufficient evidence to prove how Poppy died, and who caused her death, to that very high standard.
“Both defendants have been convicted of very serious offences and were both sentenced last week to 13 years in jail.”
However in the family court, where the burden of proof is lower, Judge Heaton said in his judgement it didn’t matter whether Poppy died as a result of a blow to the head or shaking.
He said: “She died as a result of the assault.
“I unhesitatingly conclude that both know far more about how Poppy lost her life than either of them are prepared to say.
“The mother and Rytting are seeking to conceal from view what happened in the flat that morning in order to protect themselves.
“It’s not possible to say whether the mother acted alone or Rytting alone or whether they were both involved and what role each played.
“I am entirely satisfied, however, to the appropriate standard of proof, that both knew what happened in the flat that morning.
“Having reflected carefully on the matter, I have come to the conclusion I can’t identify either of the two adults as the perpetrator of this traumatic event.”