York College fined £175,000 over toddler's death

A nursery worker has been cleared of manslaughter by gross negligence. It's after 3-year-old Lydia Bishop choked to death on her first full day at the York College nursery in 2012.

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'It's obvious fatal mistakes were made and Lydia was not properly cared for'

Lydia Bishop.
Lydia Bishop. Credit: North Yorkshire Police

The parents of a three-year-old girl who died at a nursery in York said they were 'disappointed' that the nursery did not admit their failings until the jury reached its verdict.

Lydia Bishop choked to death on her first full day at the York College nursery when she became tangled in a rope on an outdoor slide in September 2012.

Nursery worker Sophee Redhead was cleared of manslaughter. York College was today fined £175,000 for health and safety breaches.

In a statement, Rebecca Dick and Brad Bishop said: "We have re-lived those last moments of Lydia’s life in grave detail and heard evidence over and over surrounding the events of that day.

"For the last 17 months we felt terribly let down that throughout the process, no-one had accepted any responsibility for what happened to Lydia, which has made it even harder to deal with.

"It is obvious that fatal mistakes were made, both on that day and in the weeks and months leading up to it, and that Lydia was not properly cared for.

"We are disappointed that it is not until the jury reached their verdict that the college have finally admitted their failings and we acknowledge that they have finally apologised through their statement to the press.

“Although nothing could ever compensate for our tragic loss, we anticipated a more substantial penalty would be imposed on York College.

"We would like to take this opportunity to thank North Yorkshire Police and Robert Smith QC for their efforts in bringing the case to it’s conclusion.

"We feel that we have remained dignified throughout the last 17 months and respectfully request that the members of the press respect our privacy at this time.”

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Parents: College penalty not enough

Following the sentencing of York College after the death of three-year-old Lydia Bishop, her parents, Rebecca Dick and Brad Bishop have released the following statement:

Over the last four weeks, attending Leeds Crown Court for the trial of Sophee Redhead and York College has been really tough. However we feel that we had to be there to learn what had happened and to hear the answers that we, as Lydia’s parents, deserve.

We have re-lived those last moments of Lydia’s life in grave detail and heard evidence over and over surrounding the events of that day. For the last 17 months we felt terribly let down that throughout the process, no one had accepted any responsibility for what happened to Lydia, which has made it even harder to deal with.

It is obvious that fatal mistakes were made, both on that day and in the weeks and months leading up to it, and that Lydia was not properly cared for. We are disappointed that it is not until the jury reached their verdict that the college have finally admitted their failings and we acknowledge that they have finally apologised through their statement to the press.

Although nothing could ever compensate for our tragic loss, we anticipated a more substantial penalty would be imposed on York College. We would like to take this opportunity to thank North Yorkshire Police and Robert Smith QC for their efforts in bringing the case to it’s conclusion. We feel that we have remained dignified throughout the last 17 months and respectfully request that the members of the press respect our privacy at this time.

– Rebecca Dick and Brad Bishop

Statement: York College

York College have released a statement following their fine of £175,000 for a health and safety breach in the death of toddler, Lydia Bishop:

“We remain deeply saddened by the events of 17th September 2012 and we know that no family can ever recover from the death of a child. Nothing can reduce the pain felt by Lydia’s family and we are truly sorry for what has happened. Lydia and her family will be forever in our thoughts.

"We remain committed to learning from these tragic events and took the difficult decision to close the nursery permanently immediately after the tragedy.

"While the nursery was separate from the College, we also brought in the British Safety Council to conduct a full inspection of health and safety implementation across all College sites.

“The College has taken a number of steps to ensure that this sort of accident could not happen again.

"We would like to thank the local community for the support shown to everyone affected by these terrible events.”

– Alison Birkinshaw, Principal and Chief Executive of York College.

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Nursery worker wept in court as she was cleared

A nursery worker cried in court today as she was cleared of the manslaughter of a three-year-old girl who died on her first day at the nursery. Toddler Lydia BIshop got her neck caught in a rope on a slide at York College Nursery.

Today Sophee Redhead was cleared of all charges against her. York College was found guilty of health and safety failings. Jon Hill reports:

Nursery statement over toddler's death

York College have issued a statement over the death of toddler, Lydia Bishop:

We deeply regret what happened and can't begin to imagine the pain experienced by Lydia's family and everyone affected by this terrible tragedy

The governing body and all at York College respect fully the legal judgements made in this case and remain committed to learning from this tragedy

– Alison Birkinshaw, Principal & Chief Executive, York College

The college took the decision to close the nursery immediately after the tragedy, and say it will not reopen.

Nursery worker cleared over toddler death

A jury has cleared a nursery school teacher of the death of a toddler in her care.

Lydia Bishop

Sophee Readhead wept as she was declared not guilty of manslaughter or a breach of health and safety.

Three-year-old Lydia Bishop choked to death on her first full day at the York College nursery when she became tangled in a rope on an outdoor slide.

York College nursery has been found guilty of one charge of a health and safety breach