DANIEL THOMAS FINDING: The tale of how body was moved

SHE bathed him, gave him a cuddle and then put him to bed.

The next morning, the lifeless body of little Daniel Thomas was sat up in a stroller and walked around to an unoccupied house.

Mandy Martyn’s drug diversion worker, Jane Richards, gave evidence that Ms Martyn then told her how she buried Daniel under the house.

His body lay there undisturbed under his mother Donna Thomas’ former home for five years until 2008.

Ms Richards — now a police officer — told last December’s inquest that Ms Martyn had alleged that it was Ms Thomas who killed the boy, having strangled him in a rage.

In her finding handed down yesterday, coroner Jacinta Heffey said Ms Richards was a “very credible” witness who gave even-handed descriptions of Ms Martyn.

Ms Heffey also highlighted the evidence of two other witnesses who told of matching descriptions by Ms Martyn as to how she got rid of Daniel’s body.

“To admit to disposing of his body amounts to an admission that she had lied to police and had played an active part in concealing the deceased body of a child she had reported as missing,” she said.

It was an admission, Ms Heffey said, that carried much weight.

“I am satisfied that there was no basis for Ms Martyn to do this unless she had some responsibility for his death.”

Ms Martyn refused to appear before the inquest on the grounds of self-incrimination.

The coroner said she decided, for several reasons, not to call either Ms Martyn or Ms Thomas to give evidence.

That was mainly because they gave different versions of events.

“Not only were their versions incompatible with the other, they were also inherently incompatible and irreconcilable with themselves.”