A nursery worker has been jailed for 14 years for the manslaughter of a nine-month-old baby girl whom she strapped face down onto a bean bag for more than 90 minutes.

Manchester Crown Court heard that footage from the nursery in Cheadle Hulme captured the events leading up to Genevieve’s death.

On several occasions the defendant Kate Roughley, who was responsible for Genevieve’s care at the nursery, is heard telling Genevieve to ‘stop whinging’, and to ‘go home’.

On the day Genevieve died, Roughley says to a colleague; ‘if you keep yourself busy you can’t hear her [Genevieve] crying’, demonstrating her cruel and callous nature.

In preparation for her afternoon nap Roughley swaddled Genevieve so tightly inside the blanket that she couldn’t move.

She then placed her face down onto a bean bag, unable to move freely or breathe.

Audio catches Genevieve crying on several occasions, but despite this, Roughley is seen pulling one of the blankets over Genevieve’s head before walking away.

Over a sixty-minute period, Kate Roughley is captured ignoring Genevieve despite her being visibly distressed.  Shortly after 3pm, she’s found unresponsive.

Following a Home Office Post Mortem on Monday the cause of death was determined as a combination of asphyxia and pathophysiological stress which arose by an unsafe sleep environment.

The subsequent report by the pathologist stated there was no underlying medical cause for her death.

Over the past four weeks, the court has heard from experts, witnesses, and family members. On day seven, an Independent Child Care Expert gave evidence, who, having reviewed the footage from the nursery commented on the uncaring, cruel, and unprofessional practice of Roughley.

Further information provided by a safe sleep expert determined that Genevieve’s death was avoidable. Had she received the correct, and safe, treatment, she would not have died.

Detective Inspector Charlotte Whalley, the Senior Investigating Officer for this case said: “This has been a truly harrowing and disturbing investigation. Due to Kate Roughley’s lack of remorse and refusal to take accountability for her actions, Genevieve’s family have been forced to relive the worst day of their life repeatedly, having their most painful memories made public.

“On Thursday 9 May, whilst the family should have been able to commemorate the two-year anniversary of Genevieve’s death, they instead had to endure a day at court listening to the defendant’s version of events.

“Their pain is unfathomable, and throughout this nightmare they have kept their dignity, putting their trust in us to get justice for their little girl, but I know that no outcome will ever be enough to replace the loss and grief that they feel.

“The impact of Roughley’s abhorrent crime is immense and far reaching. Genevieve’s life was robbed, and others must now live with the painful consequences of Roughley’s actions.”

Karen Tonge, Specialist Prosecutor for CPS North West’s Complex Casework Unit, said: “Kate Roughley’s callous and spiteful actions towards Genevieve Meehan, a vulnerable baby, who she was entrusted to care for, were unconscionable.

“Roughley put Genevieve’s parents through further anguish by not taking responsibility for what she had done and taking the case to trial.

“The Crown Prosecution Service worked closely with Greater Manchester Police to build the strongest possible case to secure justice for Genevieve.

“Everyone involved in the case has been deeply moved by the tragic circumstances of Genevieve’s death.

“Nothing can ever make up for what Genevieve’s parents and loved ones have lost but I hope they can take some comfort in knowing Roughley will face the consequences of her actions. My thoughts remain with them.”

Genevieve, known as Gigi by her loved ones, came to harm at the hands of Kate Roughley, someone she was supposed to be safe with.


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