Parents accused after toddler tragedy

THE parents of a 22-month-old girl who died after she was found face down in a pond have been charged with manslaughter in relation to her death.Richard and Karen Wilkinson of The Street, Brandon, who have eight children between them, have been charged with the unlawful killing through wilful neglect of their daughter Emily, who died on February 15 last year.

THE parents of a 22-month-old girl who died after she was found face down in a pond have been charged with manslaughter in relation to her death.

Richard and Karen Wilkinson of The Street, Brandon, who have eight children between them, have been charged with the unlawful killing through wilful neglect of their daughter Emily, who died on February 15 last year.

Just weeks short of her second birthday Emily was found by her brother face down in a fish pond in the garden of her grandmother's house in Evergreen Lane, Great Bradley, the same street in which the Wilkinsons then lived, and despite attempts to revive her, she died later that day in the West Suffolk Hospital.

Richard Wilkinson, 40, and his wife Karen, 26, who is six months pregnant, were interviewed by police in relation to the incident in December last year and where charged with manslaughter on Saturday, March 20.

The pair appeared before magistrates at Bury St Edmunds yesterday where they also faced three separate charges of causing cruelty to children through neglect.

These charges relate to incidents alleged to have taken place between November 1, 2000 and March 4 this year, and the children involved cannot be named for legal reasons.

Most Read

The pair were granted bail by magistrates but were ordered not to have any contact with each other whatsoever, for the duration of the case.

The court was told that Mrs Wilkinson is a full time carer to a man with whom she and her husband live, having moved from Great Bradley in May last year.

Under the conditions of his bail Mr Wilkinson has been ordered to reside at an address in North London.

Both the Wilkinsons have also been ordered not to go within five miles of Great Bradley nor within five miles of Bartlow, Cambridgeshire, where the couple lived prior to moving to Great Bradley. They have also been ordered not to interfere with prosecution witnesses.

The case has been adjourned until March 30, when the Wilkinsons are due to appear at Ipswich Crown Court.

An inquest into Emily's death was opened by Greater Suffolk Coroner Dr Peter Dean in February last year and adjourned until all investigations in to her death have been completed.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter