A mum arrested over the death of a tot who was found lying in her cot with a head injury told police she didn’t touch her “baby girl”, an inquest heard.
The inquest of 21-month-old Summer Mai Rogers-Ratcliffe heard she had suffered a “non-accidental” injury but nobody has since been charged in connection with her death on February 28, 2012.
Yesterday (Wednesday), the inquest heard that Summer’s mum Victoria Rogers, 27, told police in interview that she didn’t touch the toddler but gave her a bottle at 5.30am before leaving to go to work.
Summer - who suffered a “blunt force head injury” and “bruising to the brain” that would have required a significant impact - was pronounced dead in the early hours of the next day at her home in Nook Green, Thornhill.
Medical experts concluded the toddler received the fatal ‘blunt force trauma’ injuries close to the time at which she was found dying.
After the tot died, her mum, stepdad and grandmother were all arrested later that year on suspicion of murder.
None of them could offer an explanation for the injuries or recall an accident that could be to blame.
Earlier in the case Bradford Coroner’s Court was told that the Crown Prosecution Service decided not to go ahead with the case because it was unclear who was looking after Summer when she was injured.
Mum Victoria, her partner Craig Sharpe, 34, and gran Susan Rogers, 58, were all released without charge.
Speaking to police in September 2012, after she was arrested on suspicion of her daughter’s murder, Victoria said that as far as she was concerned Summer was “fit and well” when she left the house.
“There’s nothing I want to say apart from I didn’t touch my baby girl, I gave her her bottle at 5.30am and I went to work,” she said.
She added: “Somebody got Summer up after I gave her that bottle, and somebody hurt her.”
When asked if she did something to cause Summer’s injury after giving her the bottle, she replied “I didn’t”.
Victoria, of Dewsbury, West Yorks., then said when she left the house “my baby was fine”.
When the interviewing officer asked her “and the next you knew she had been taken ill with the injury that caused her death” she replied “yes”.
The auxiliary nurse sat in the witness box while the transcripts were read out and confirmed after each section whether she agreed with them.
The inquest heard that Summer had not been feeling well in the days up to her death and had vomited on several ocassions while staying with her grandparents over the weekend.
On the evening before she was was found in her cot, Victoria said she gave her a bottle at around 11.30pm and then one before she went to work.
She then left the house at around 5.45am, leaving tyre garage manager Craig in charge, until he left for work at about 7.45am. By this point Victoria’s mum had turned up to look after Summer, the inquest heard.
Asked, in interview, if she had any concerns about Craig’s ability to care for Summer, she replied “no”.
The inquest had heard previously that Summer was a healthy and happy girl from a ‘loving family’.
A statement read out in court from James Ratcliffe, Summer’s grandad, said: “Summer was a lovely girl and she brought new meaning to our lives.”
The self-employed plumber added: “She was a wonderful little girl and I loved her dearly.”
He said that Victoria and Summer’s dad Joss Ratcliffe had tried to make a go of it when they found out she was pregnant but it wasn’t working.
The inquest continues.