The Nottinghamshire father of a toddler murdered by her mother’s new partner says he wants to ‘rip off the head’ of her killer.
Dean Bird travelled for 10 hours from his home in Mansfield to attend every day of the trial of Tom Curd in Truro, Cornwall.
CornwallLive reports yesterday Curd was convicted of the murder of Dean’s 22-month-old daughter Eve Leatherland in October 2017.
The court heard how he had repeatedly beaten the child, fracturing her skull and ribs, before giving her enough codeine to kill and adult.
A murder charge against Eve’s mother, Abigail Leatherland, was dropped on Wednesday, but she has been found guilty of causing or allowing a child to die but not guilty of manslaughter by gross negligence.
X-rays revealed Eve had suffered serious injuries at the home she shared with Leatherland and Curd in Liskeard.
Eve was found to have suffered a number of injuries including a broken skull, broken ribs and a lacerated liver.
Several of the fractures occurred in the same place as previous fractures, meaning Eve was subjected to identical assaults during the healing process.
Her lifeless body was taken to Derriford Hospital in Plymouth but it was suspected that Eve had been dead for several hours before paramedics were called.
Mr Bird has spoken to CornwallLive about his loss and the ordeal of having to look at Leatherland and Curd in the dock during the trial.
Tattooist Mr Bird, who hadn’t seen Eve since she was 15 months old, said: “She used to come into my bed every morning.
“She was always happy and really was a daddy’s girl.”
Describing how he became aware of Eve’s death, he said: “Police came to my house at 11.30pm after she (Leatherland) sent me on a wild goose chase to find me.
“I was in bed when I heard police radios.
“I opened the window and asked what they wanted. I said ‘what do you want, is it to do with my daughter’ and they just nodded. It was then that the world fell apart.
“When they told me Eve had passed away I just started sobbing. I can’t remember anything after that.
“I thought she died of a viral infection and didn’t stop crying for three days.
“I just sat there and watch videos of Eve, she was such a beautiful girl.”
COURTS IN NOTTINGHAMSHIRE
Moving onto the trial process, Mr Bird added: “I was really angry, I just wanted to rip their heads off.
“I had all sorts of emotions going on and before the trial I didn’t know everything about the case and all of Eve’s injuries.
“I looked at him (Curd) a couple of times and the anger just boiled up inside me. I saw him looking at me and we locked eyes.
“Now I’ve got to win the rights for Eve’s body so I can lay her to rest properly.”
Moving onto Leatherland, Mr Bird, who is awaiting treatment for Chrone’s Disease, recalled that he had been with her on and off for two years but hasn’t spoken to her since the day they split.
He said: “She has never been wicked but never used to feed the kids properly and was more worried about going out and drinking.
“The trial has caused me so much stress and anxiety and I’m just so drained.
“I didn’t think anything like this would ever happen to me and Eve.
“It’s the kind of thing you see on the tele and I now have a totally different view on everything.”
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