Genevieve Meehan: Baby died because she was put in ‘very unsafe sleeping environment’, court hears

Nine-month-old Genevieve Meehan was found unresponsive on a bean bag at Tiny Toes nursery.

A baby girl who was strapped face down to a nursery bean bag died because she was put in a “very unsafe sleeping environment”, a court has heard.

Kate Roughley, 37, is accused of the manslaughter by ill-treatment of nine-month-old Genevieve Meehan and is on trial at Manchester Crown Court.

Roughly, of Heaton Norris, who denies manslaughter and an alternative count of child cruelty, cared for the baby at Tiny Toes Nursery in Cheadle Hulme, Stockport.

The nursery worker had swaddled the child in a blanket and put her on her front onto the bean bag on 9 May 2022.

She then fastened a strap across Genevieve’s back before she later placed another cover over her.

Pathologist Dr Philip Lumb told jurors that he considered the cause of Genevieve’s death was a combination of asphyxia and various pathophysiological stresses including upper airway obstruction.

Genevieve Meehan was being cared for at the Tiny Toes nursery in Cheadle. Credit: MEN Media

CCTV footage from within the baby room was watched by jurors, some in tears, as Genevieve lay in a prone position for more than 90 minutes before she was discovered unresponsive and blue by the defendant.

The prosecution say Roughley’s interest in Genevieve’s wellbeing during that period was “sporadic and, at best, fleeting” and that the child’s cries, distress and efforts to move or reposition herself were ignored.

Peter Wright KC asked Dr Lumb: “What did you conclude from your examination of the CCTV footage?”

The witness said: “It showed that Genevieve Meehan had been put in a very unsafe sleeping environment which, in my opinion, was responsible for her death.

“She was unable to escape from that position due to the swaddling and strapping.”

Dr Lumb said in these circumstances an infant would become exhausted as they struggled to move.

He said he had not identified any natural disease condition and that post-mortem examination of the youngster’s brain indicated she had not died because of some “sudden and unexpected event”.

The trial continues.