A mother has been found guilty of child cruelty following the death of Lia Green.
Natalie Critchley, 21, was convicted by the jury at Preston Crown Court following the death of her three-year-old daughter in August last year.
Lia’s father, Richard Green, 23, has already pleaded guilty to manslaughter.
Ambulance teams were called to Lia’s Norris Street home in Plungington on Thursday 30 August 2012 but could not save the girl.
A post mortem concluded Lia died from a blunt force trauma to her abdomen area.
Pathologists told police the injuries were caused as a result of her being subjected to a ‘significant act of violence’.
Senior Investigating Officer Detective Superintendent Andy Murphy from the Force Major Investigation Team said: “Cases like this are incredibly difficult to investigate as the death of any child, especially in circumstances like this, is so tragic.
“This was a resource intensive enquiry as when we were first alerted to what had happened we felt that there were many questions that needed answers. A major investigation was launched with a large team of highly skilled detectives and staff working on the case.
“From the very early stages the evidence was pointing towards Richard Green being responsible. The post mortem examination revealed that Lia died as a result of receiving a significant blunt trauma to her abdomen that had to have been caused by a significant violent act, and not from her falling from a swing, as was suggested to us when we interviewed him.
“Natalie Critchley failed in her duty as a mother; to care for and save from harm her little girl. Lia had her whole life ahead of her and the people who should have been protecting her have let her down in an unthinkable and unimaginable way.
“Lia’s death was felt throughout the local community and I would thank those people who assisted my officers in coming forward with information.
“I would also like to thank the Crown Prosecution Service and Counsel for their work on what had been a very difficult and challenging investigation.
“Only Richard Green knows why he did what he did that night to his daughter and he will have to live with that for the rest of his life. Today, Lia is in my thoughts and the thoughts of my team.”
Both Natalie Critchley and Richard Green will be sentenced on Friday 24 May.
Reaction on the web:
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