As the stepdad of murdered toddler Erin Tomkins prepares to be sentenced over her death this afternoon, here is everything we know so far:
- Erin Tomkins was 23 months old when she was rushed to Sheffield Children’s Hospital by ambulance on May 22, 2018.
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- The youngster died of head injuries and South Yorkshire Police was informed of the case after medics raised concerns about the cause of the toddler’s injuries.
- Her stepdad, Martin Johnson, 20, was arrested and later charged over the death but denied any responsibility.
- He was found guilty today of murder and two counts of grievous bodily harm after a trial. The GBH charges related to fractures Erin suffered to her right arm and spine in the weeks before her death.
- Jurors spent around two hours deliberating before delivering their verdict.
- The killer is to be sentenced at Sheffield Crown Court this afternoon.
- During Johnson’s trial, jurors were told that the youngster would cry and ‘make herself sick’ if she was left alone with him. Erin’s mother, Kira Tompkins, 19, told jurors how at the beginning of her relationship with Johnson, Erin would ‘run towards him with her hands in the air’ but before her death the youngster ‘couldn’t be left alone’ with him and would cry and ‘make herself sick’.
- Kira became pregnant soon after the pair began a sexual relationship in April 2017, and their child was born in the December of that year.
- Johnson, a chef, moved in with her the following month and Kira said Johnson had ‘accused’ her of ‘loving Erin more’ than their own child. He said he thought Erin was the ‘favourite’.
- Erin suffered a fractured her arm around 10 weeks before her death when she was left alone with Johnson and Kira said he told her the toddler had fallen off the sofa as he was changing her nappy.
- Kira told jurors there were a number of instances when Erin suffered injuries when Johnson was alone with her, one of which resulted in a large bruise to her cheek. She also noticed bruising to Erin’s forehead in the days before her death, and Johnson told her Erin had tripped and fallen.
- A post mortem examination revealed that in addition to severe head injures, there was evidence of a fractured right arm and spinal fractures which were weeks old.
More to follow.
Referring to Johnson’s attitude towards his child and his stepdaughter, Mr Cox said: “He didn’t distinguish between the two; he didn’t treat one better than the other.”
Kira replied: “I think it’s obvious that that’s not true.”
Johnson denies all charges.