Daily Express

Nursery worker guilty of killing baby strapped face down to bean bag

- By Chris Riches

A NURSERY worker is facing jail after being convicted of killing a baby by strapping her to a bean bag face-down for 90 minutes.

Kate Roughley, 37, had been “punishing” nine-month-old Genevieve Meehan for “not sleeping long enough for her liking”, the trial was told.

After yesterday’s guilty verdict, Crown Prosecutio­n Service spokeswoma­n Karen Tonge said: “For some inexplicab­le reason Kate Roughley had taken a dislike to Genevieve, and this was clear for all to hear and see.”

It was “difficult to comprehend how someone could have such a complete disregard for a child’s life,” she added.

Roughley had denied manslaught­er following the death of Genevieve from asphyxiati­on at

Tiny Toes nursery in Cheadle Hulme, Stockport, on May

9, 2022.

Speaking outside Manchester Crown Court yesterday, the baby’s dad John, a civil litigation lawyer, and mum Katie said: “Genevieve’s loss has destroyed our family. We grieve for her every day.We long desperatel­y to see her smile, hear her laugh and feel her warm embrace. “She loved to laugh, to play with her tambourine, to eat spaghetti bolognese and to be with her big sister. She was kind, affectiona­te, independen­t and mischievou­s. “We will never accept the cruelty of her life being taken away. That we will not get to watch her grow up is impossible to comprehend. We grieve for what we do not have.” During the trial some jurors wept as they watched nursery CCTV footage of Genevieve being left “virtually immobilise­d” in the baby room from 1.35pm to 3.12pm. Prosecutor Peter Wright KC said her “desperate fight for survival” was clear but her crying and the thrashing and writhing of her body were repeatedly ignored.

Roughley paid “lip service” to any meaningful checks until it was too late, he added.

Her actions were said to be fuelled by an “illogical and disturbing hostility” towards the youngster, which was revealed by earlier CCTV footage from May 5 and 6.

A pathologis­t told the court “a very unsafe sleeping environmen­t” had led to the baby’s death. Roughley, who was warned she faces prison when she is sentenced tomorrow, maintained that Genevieve’s death was a “terrible, unavoidabl­e accident”.

She denied she had “persecuted” her, adding: “I would never not like a nine-month-old baby.”

Her barrister Sarah Elliott KC said Roughley was paid “£11 to £11.50 per hour” and the nursery’s owners, Franck and Karen Pell, were making an “awful lot of money” from the business. “There is no sign of them now,” she added.

Tiny Toes was shut down after Genevieve’s death. A nursery owned and run by a different company operates in the building now.

 ?? ?? ‘Affectiona­te and kind’...Genevieve
‘Affectiona­te and kind’...Genevieve
 ?? ?? ‘Disturbing hostility’...Roughley
‘Disturbing hostility’...Roughley

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Kingdom