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Newspaper vows to keep up dead baby justice fight despite CPS ruling

A regional daily has vowed to continue its fight for justice for a baby who a judge ruled was sexually assaulted by her father, despite prosecutors deciding not to press charges in the case.

The Crown Prosecution Service stated yesterday there was “insufficient evidence” to charge Paul Worthington over the death of his 13-month-old daughter Poppi in 2012.

However the North West Evening Mail has said it will continue its Justice for Poppi campaign for an independent inquiry into the child’s death.

The paper, which launched the campaign with a front page headlined ‘Baby Rapist’ in January, is aiming to get 10,000 people to sign a petition in support of the inquiry bid.


Poppi collapsed with serious injuries at her home in December 2012 and died. She was later found to have a historic leg injury and injuries consistent with a sexual assault.

Mr Worthington, who denies any wrongdoing, was arrested in August 2013 and questioned on suspicion of sexual assault but was not charged with any offence.

In January, High Court family judge Mr Justice Peter Jackson found that Cumbria Police conducted no real investigation for nine months, because senior detectives thought a pathologist who believed the child had been abused “may have jumped to conclusions.”

Mr Justice Jackson ruled that – on the balance of probabilities – she had been sexually assaulted by her father.

Evening Mail editor James Higgins told HTFP yesterday: “Today’s news heaps yet more shame on the agencies which have failed this little girl. The depth of ineptitude displayed by organisations which exist to protect is appalling.

“The Evening Mail’s #justiceforpoppi campaign has been calling for an government-backed independent inquiry into that went wrong. We must make sure that a child is never failed in this way again.

“We have a petition up and running and I’d urge everyone to sign it and share the link.

“Something positive must come from this terrible, heartbreaking situation.”

NWEM Poppi