Genevieve Meehan: daycare worker who tied her baby face down to a bean bag and “let her die” sentenced to 14 years in prison | UK News

Prosecutors said the nine-month-old girl died from asphyxiation, and Roughley ignored her cries and distress and showed a “sporadic” and “fleeting” interest in her well-being.

Wednesday 22 May 2024 15:49, United Kingdom

An assistant director of a daycare center has been sentenced to 14 years in prison for killing a girl who was tied upside down to a bean bag chair for more than 90 minutes.

Kate Roughley He had been convicted of manslaughter by ill-treatment of Genevieve Meehan, aged nine months, who died at Tiny Toes in Cheadle Hulme, Stockport, on 9 May 2022.

Prosecutors said the girl, known as Gigi to her family, died of asphyxiation due to a combination of “pathophysiological stress.”

Kate Roughley at Manchester Crown Court. Photo: Ioannis Alexopoulos/LNP/Shutterstock

Roughley had placed her face down, tightly wrapped and tied to a beanbag before covering her with a blanket.

The daycare assistant director then ignored Genevieve’s screams and distress and showed a “sporadic” and “fleeting” interest in her well-being for an hour and 37 minutes until he found her blue and unconscious, prosecutors said.

Sentencing, Judge Ellenbogen said Genevieve’s death was “absolutely avoidable”.

She said: “As harrowing CCTV audio and video footage showed, you left Genevieve in that position that day carrying out only the most superficial and infrequent checks.

“I’m sure every single person in this courtroom who saw those images was willing for you to pick her up and take her out of the danger you had put her in, knowing, of course, that you weren’t doing that.”

The judge continued: “It was evident that you considered Genevieve a nuisance at best and at times showed antipathy and frustration towards her.

“His interactions with Genevieve on May 6 and 9 palpably lacked care, kindness or concern for her well-being.”

Genevieve Meehan. Photo: Family flyer via Greater Manchester Police

Read more:
Parents “will never forgive” daycare worker who killed their girl

As Genevieve’s crying “intensified” as she struggled with the beanbag, the judge told Roughley: “Even then you did not approach her, pick her up or show any concern for her welfare. You left her to die.”

The 37-year-old, who was the baby’s room shift leader in charge of sleeping arrangements that day, told Manchester Crown Court that she turned Genevieve on her side, claiming her face was visible at all times.

She said she wasn’t worried about being in danger.

Jurors wept at the start of the trial as they watched CCTV footage from the nursery capturing the tragedy unfolding between 1.35pm and 3.12pm.

The defendant’s argument was that Genevieve’s death was a “terrible and unavoidable accident” and not the result of any illegal act.

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Roughley, from Heaton Norris, Stockport, joined Tiny Toes straight from university at the age of 18 and said she gained most of her knowledge about working with babies and toddlers from her colleagues.

He said the ratio of staff to children at the nursery “gradually worsened”.

In April and May 2022, the staff to child ratio was at various times one to nine, two to 11, two to 13 and one to 16, the court heard.