A couple who staged a "cynical charade" on a bus to cover up torturing their baby to death have been jailed for 11 years.
Drug addicts Jeffrey Wiltshire, 52, and Rosalin Baker, 25, of Morris Avenue, Little Ilford, concocted a "devious" plan to get away with the horrific abuse of 16-week-old Imani which culminated in her death in September last year.
Baker blamed her abusive and controlling boyfriend and claimed he had tried to frame her by forcing her on to the 25 bus in Church Road with their dead child in a sling.
But former rapper Wiltshire, who claimed to have fathered 25 children, insisted: "I’m not a life taker, I’m a baby maker."
Following a trial at the Old Bailey last month (April 20), they were cleared of murder but convicted of causing or allowing the death of their daughter, who was on the child protection register.
Sentencing, Judge Nicholas Hilliard QC said Imani had been born prematurely and her last days must have been "terrifying, painful and bewildering".
He told her parents: "Both of you at all times put your interests before those of a helpless and dependent baby for whom you were responsible."
He said they had told so many lies about what happened that their credibility was "always in doubt".
Imani’s fatal head injuries were likened to those from a road crash or falling from a first-floor window, he said.
Even though the jury could not be sure who was responsible, Judge Hilliard said that given the extent of her injuries he had concluded that whoever had done it intended really serious bodily harm.
He described the cover-up on the bus as a "cynical charade", adding: "You used the dead body of your daughter as part of an attempt to conceal what really happened."
In the week before she died Imani was attacked three times and suffered 40 rib fractures, a broken wrist and terrible head injuries, jurors were told.
Wiltshire and Baker, who lived on benefits, attempted to hide what had happened by making it appear she had suddenly been taken ill on the bus from Ilford.
On the morning of September 28, Wiltshire was caught on CCTV kissing Baker and giving her a thumbs up as they boarded the number 25, with Imani’s body strapped to her chest.
During the journey, she raised the alarm and the bus was stopped in Carpenters Road, Stratford, when passengers desperately tried to save Imani by giving her CPR and calling an ambulance.
Giving evidence, Baker blamed her boyfriend, who she described as a violent man who would get high on heroin and cocaine every day.
But Wiltshire denied hurting his "tiny and beautiful" daughter either intentionally or unintentionally, or witnessing anyone else injuring her.
DI John Marriott of the Met Police's homicide and major crime command said: "The loss of any child is tragic but to know that baby Imani was tortured and was probably in considerable pain in her last few hours is heart-rendering.
"The level of violence and cruelty inflicted on such a young child is something that I have never come across during the course of my career and I hope never to witness anything like this again.
"Baker and Wiltshire were naïve in their thinking and brazenly thought they could get away with such a heinous crime. Neither has shown any remorse for their actions."