September 27th, 2016

Mother guilty of allowing baby’s death

Updated: 10:15 am, May 07, 2015

A REDDITCH mother collapsed in the dock after being found guilty of allowing the death of her baby.

Jessica Wiggins, formerly of Heathfield Road in Webheath, was convicted at Worcester Crown Court on Wednesday (November 19) after 11 jurors came to a unanimous verdict following a two week retrial.

The 20-year-old was found to have failed to act to prevent the death of 12-week-old Isabella Vallance from the baby’s father Tyler Vallance, 21 and formerly of the Oakalls in Bromsgrove, after she received injuries at a home in Redditch in 2012.

Vallance pleaded guilty to grievous bodily harm and manslaughter on the first day of his trial in June but Wiggins was cleared of child cruelty charges in July.

However, jurors failed to reach a verdict on the charge of causing or allowing the death of Isabella, resulting in the retrial being ordered.

Isabella was taken to the Alexandra Hospital on December 7 and had to be transferred to Birmingham Children’s Hospital five days later where she later died.

A post-mortem examination revealed she had head injures, nine fractured ribs and had broken her thigh and lower leg.

The court heard the injuries had been suffered at the hands of her father who had assaulted her on more than one occasion.

Wiggins and Vallance, who lived together in Redditch following the birth of their child, had been having problems with their relationship.

As the verdict was read out Wiggins wept and collapsed in the dock.

Judge Robert Juckes QC thanked the jury for their careful observations and considerations in what he called ‘an unusual and difficult case’ adding he wanted Vallance and Wiggins to be sentenced together.

Wiggins was released on bail to return to Worcester Crown Court on a proposed date of December 18, where Vallance will appear alongside her.

Det Ch Insp Jon Marsden said Vallance and Wiggins had failed to live up to their responsibilities as parents.

“The death of any young child is a tragedy and Isabella Vallace had lived for just 86 days.

“She should have had a full life ahead of her but that was taken away by her father, a callous individual who could not control his emotions or his temper.

“His guilty plea on the first day of the hearing is a testament to the weight and strength of the evidence against him gathered over 18 months by a dedicated team of investigators. We are also grateful to the significant contribution made by many partner agencies including the medical profession and Children’s Services.

“Those agencies, along with other family members, had set out to help Wiggins and Vallance give Isabella the best possible start in life.

“As parents they were in a position of trust and care but sadly they did not live up to their responsibilities.

“Our priority was to carry out a full and thorough investigation into this baby’s death, which we have done, and while the overriding feeling is one of sadness we are satisfied that at least justice has now been done for Isabella.”

Isabella Vallance died at the hands of her father. (s)

Tyler Vallance admitting killing his 12-week-old daughter. (s)