'Callous and spiteful' nursery worker jailed for 14 years over death of nine-month-old Genevieve Meehan

'Callous and spiteful' nursery worker jailed for 14 years over death of nine-month-old Genevieve Meehan

A NURSERY WORKER convicted of the manslaughter of a nine-month-old baby girl in her care has been jailed for 14 years.

Genevieve Meehan died on May 9, 2022 after she was swaddled so tightly that she couldn't move before being placed face down on a bean bag.

Investigators said Kate Roughley, who was captured on CCTV complaining about Genevieve before her death, showed a lack of remorse or accountability.

"Kate Roughley's callous and spiteful actions towards Genevieve Meehan, a vulnerable baby, who she was entrusted to care for, were unconscionable," said Karen Tonge of the CPS.

'Stop whinging'

Footage from Tiny Toes nursery on Mellor Road, Cheadle Hulme, Greater Manchester captured the events leading up to Genevieve's death.

Roughley, who was responsible for the tot's care at the nursery, was heard telling Genevieve on several occasions to 'stop whinging' and to 'go home'.

On the day Genevieve died, 37-year-old Roughley said to a colleague: "If you keep yourself busy you can't hear her [Genevieve] crying."

In preparation for the baby's afternoon nap, Roughley swaddled Genevieve so tightly inside a blanket that she couldn't move.

Genevieve was only nine months old (Image: via GMP)

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

Audio captured Genevieve crying on several occasions but Roughley could be seen pulling one of the blankets over Genevieve's head before walking away.

Over a 60-minute period, Roughley was captured ignoring Genevieve despite the infant being visibly distressed.

Shortly after 3pm, she was found unresponsive and despite the best efforts of emergency services, Genevieve sadly passed away.

Uncaring and cruel

In her initial interview after being arrested on suspicion of manslaughter, Roughley maintained that she checked on Genevieve regularly.

When presented with the contradictory CCTV, she provided no comment to every question.

A post mortem determined Genevieve's cause of death to be a combination of asphyxia and pathophysiological stress arising from an unsafe sleep environment.

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

Once confronted with damning CCTV evidence, Roughley provided no comment to every question (Image: GMP)

Over the past four weeks, the court heard from family members, witnesses and experts, including an independent child care expert.

Having reviewed the footage from the nursery, the latter 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 and that she would not have died had she received the correct, safe treatment.

'Their pain is unfathomable'

"This has been a truly harrowing and disturbing investigation," said Detective Inspector Charlotte Whalley from Greater Manchester Police.

"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, May 9, 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.

An expert said Genevieve would not have died had she received the correct, safe treatment (Image: via GMP)

"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."

Specialist Prosecutor Ms Tonge said: "Roughley put Genevieve's parents through further anguish by not taking responsibility for what she had done and taking the case to trial."

She added: "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."