|9 Feb 1984
|Jacob Crouch-10 mo
Derby Crown Court
|Mr Justice Kerr
|Mary Prior KC
|Balraj Bhattia KC
Gemma Barton suffered domestic violence from her partner and left him shortly after finding out she was pregnant.
September 2019, Pregnant Gemma met forklift truck driver, 37-year-old Craig Crouch, on a dating app. A whirlwind romance saw him move into her home quite quickly. Crouch was a fork lift truck driver at JCB warehouse in Uttoxeter earning £31,300 a year. However, he had told Gemma Barton he was a senior figure at JCB on more than £70,000.
He also told her he had access to a company helicopter, and had met former prime minister Boris Johnson at work.
Crouch would control her life, including her money, he called her fat and other names, the coercive control became a daily routine.
17th February 2020, Gemma Barton gave birth to son Jacob Crouch, Craig being named as the father on the birth certificate.
In the following months the pair would try to find ways to make baby Jacob stop crying, at one time Crouch sent a text to Barton saying you must be more strict on him. She asked Crouch to try and stop him crying. On another occasion in a text message, Gemma Barton told Crouch she was bathing Jacob, he replied "three foot deep, just hot water and some bleach xxxx".
30th December 2020, Jacob was discovered dead in his cot.
Jacob was eventually killed by a "brutal blow or blows to his abdomen", which caused a tear to his bowel, and, in turn, peritonitis. Jacob had suffered at least 39-fractured ribs, with 22 of these occurring in the week of his death.
8th June 2023, Trial starts at Derby Crown Court.
Gemma Barton, of Ray Street, Heanor, Derbyshire, and Craig Crouch, of Donisthorpe Lane, Moira, Swadlincote, both deny murder, causing or allowing the death of a child, causing a child to suffer serious physical harm and three counts of child cruelty.
Friday 4th August 2023, Craig Croch found guilty of murder, and child cruelty, Crouch was sentenced to life for murder, with a minimum term of 28-years behind bars. Jacob's mother Gemma Barton was cleared of murder, but she was found guilty of causing or allowing the death of a child, and sentenced to 10-years in prison.
Crouch is eligible to apply for parole on 29th September 2050.
Gemma Barton can apply for parole from 3rd August 2033.