A Chef has been jailed for life over the murder of his one-year-old stepdaughter in a ‘savage’ attack
Chef Martin Johnson was handed over a sentence of at least 19 years to life in prison before any consideration for parole.
Johnson, 20, left Erin Tomkins with multiple injuries when he was supposed to look after her at her home in Sheffield, a court heard.
A judge at Sheffield Crown Court said these injuries could have been caused by shaking, as he described how Johnson also injured Erin, who was a few weeks short of her second birthday, on other occasions.
The youngster suffered a broken arm at one point and 10 fractures to her spine, all caused by her stepfather.
Staff at Sheffield Children’s Hospital found bruises on her face and body as well as bruising and bleeding to the surface of her brain, which was also swollen, and bleeding to both eyes.
In an impact statement read to the court, Erin’s mother, Ms Tomkins said:
‘I simply do not understand who somebody could hurt a baby in this way.’ She said she had been turned in to a ‘walking zombie’ by her daughter’s death.
Speaking outside court, Miss Tomkins said:
‘Erin was the most beautiful bright and funny little red-headed girl. ‘She added so much to our lives and she will be loved and missed every day.’
Speaking outside court, DCI Steve Whittaker said the murder was one of the worst crimes he had dealt with in his 32-year long career.
Mr Whittaker said:
‘This is a man, Martin Johnson, who has shown absolutely no remorse whatsoever and has been in total denial.’
The detective said:
‘Martin Johnson has been a cold, calculating liar. This man is a bully, an awful man, who’s tried throughout the trial to blame the mother of the child for these terrible, terrible injuries.
‘For me, he’s a callous coward that really deserves every day of those 19 years in prison.’ Mr Whittaker said:
‘This is man who came into this girl’s life and five months later she was dead. He moved into the house and three months later she was dead.