Grimsby couple jailed for 13 years for death of four year old


John Pyke and Michala Rytting from Grimsby have both been jailed for 13 years following the death of Pyke's daughter, Poppy, in June 2013.

CPS Senior District Crown Prosecutor Catherine Ainsworth said: "This was an absolutely tragic case. Poppy died whilst in the care of those whose prime responsibility was to love, nurture and care for her. Instead, she was physically assaulted and routinely exposed to an environment where powerful illegal drugs were easily available and within reach.

"As part of our case, we were able to prove to the jury's satisfaction, through recovered text messages between Pyke and Rytting, that Poppy was sedated with illegal drugs.

"Our experts were also able to demonstrate, through  laboratory analysis of Poppy's hair, that she had been exposed to a variety of illegal drugs over a lengthy period.

"It would appear that this poor little girl got in the way of the main priorities in her care-givers' lives - their relationship with each other and a life of recreational drug use and drug dealing.

"We hope the substantial sentences handed down today are of some comfort to the rest of Poppy's family, and our thoughts remain with them."