York nursery guilty after toddler's death

York College has been found guilty of health and safety failings which led to the death of a three-year-old girl at their on-site nursery. Lydia Bishop died at the nursery after a rope attached to a slide became entangled around her neck.

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Nursery worker cleared over toddler's death

A nursery worker wept in court today as she was dramatically cleared of the manslaughter of a three-year-old girl who died on her first day at the nursery.

Lydia Bishop got her neck caught in a rope on a slide at York College Nursery.

Sophee Redhead was today cleared of all charges against her.

York College was found guilty of health and safety failings and said it deeply regretted what happened.

Jon Hill reports.

York nursery worker cleared over toddler's death

A nursery worker has been cleared of all charges in relation to the death of a three-year-old girl who died on her first day at nursery after getting her neck caught in a rope on a slide.

25-year-old Sophee Redhead burst into tears today as she was found not guilty of the manslaughter of Lydia Bishop, at Leeds Crown Court.

Miss Redhead was also cleared of an alternative charge under health and safety legislation of failing to take "reasonable care" of the little girl.

A three-week trial has heard how Lydia died following the accident at an outdoor play area at the nursery at York College.

The jury today found the college guilty of health and safety breaches.

The judge, Mr Justice Coulson, said he would sentence the college next week.

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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.

College held responsible for York toddler's death

York College has been found guilty of health and safety failings which led to the death of a three-year-old girl at their on-site nursery.

Lydia Bishop died at the nursery on 17 September 2013, after a rope attached to a slide became entangled around her neck.

She was not discovered for 20 minutes and was later pronounced dead upon her arrival at York Hospital.

The rope was supposed to be removed at the end of every supervised play session, but the court heard that it had not been moved for two months.

The College was today found guilty of failing to ensure people not in their employment were not exposed to a risk to their health and safety.

Nursery worker Sophee Readhead was cleared of manslaughter by gross negligence and a further health and safety charge.

“This was an extremely tragic case for all concerned, not least for Lydia’s family who have been left devastated by the loss of their daughter.

“It is only right that a full investigation into her death was conducted to provide her family with some answers and to establish if there was a criminal case to answer.

“The court has found that York College as an organisation were in breach of their own health and safety procedures, which ultimately resulted in Lydia’s sad and untimely death.

“Unfortunately, it has taken the death of a three-year-old girl to expose the flaws in their health and safety practices and I hope this case serves as a warning to other organisations that it isn’t enough to just have a procedure written down.

“As we have seen in this case, health and safety is more than just a tick-box exercise, it is something which must be properly and strictly put into practice by all members of staff otherwise you are faced with a tragedy which could ultimately have been avoided.”

– Detective Chief Inspector Nigel Costello, of North Yorkshire Police
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