Baby told to ‘stop your whingeing’ by alleged killer at Stockport nursery

<span>Kate Roughley denies manslaughter and an alternative charge of child cruelty.</span><span>Photograph: Sean Hansford/Manchester Evening News/MEN Media</span>
Kate Roughley denies manslaughter and an alternative charge of child cruelty.Photograph: Sean Hansford/Manchester Evening News/MEN Media

A Stockport nursery worker accused of killing a nine-month-old baby told the girl to “stop your whingeing” in the days before she died, a jury has heard.

Genevieve Meehan, known as Gigi, was found unresponsive in the baby room at Tiny Toes Nursery in Cheadle Hulme, Stockport, on 9 May 2022.

The court heard Kate Roughley, 37, had tightly swaddled the baby in a blanket and strapped her, face down, into a beanbag, ignoring her cries and signs of struggle.

More than an hour and a half later, Genevieve was discovered blue in the face and was not responding. She died in hospital a day later.

Jurors at Manchester crown court on Thursday watched CCTV footage from the Friday before Genevieve’s death, which the prosecution alleged showed Roughley grasping the baby harshly and losing patience with her.

The nursery worker told the nine-month-old to “stop your whingeing” and “change the record” as she was heard crying and coughing, having returned to Tiny Toes the day before after a spell in hospital with a chest infection.

“Genevieve, if we had any chance of being friends, you just blew it,” she told the baby, later adding: “You are driving me bananas.”

Roughley was handling 10 babies alone at one point, after another staff member went home sick. Earlier in the day she had complained about the number of children the nursery manager had accepted, telling a colleague: “They just think about money, they don’t give a shit about us.”

The court also heard statements from Genevieve’s parents, who said she had had a “fantastic” weekend, the “best weekend of Gigi’s life”, spending time with family in the days before she died.

Her mother, Katie Wheeler, said: “Gigi was not just a baby. She was a person with her likes and dislikes, her interests and her passions, her loves and frustrations. She was a complete person.”

She added that she had wanted to send her daughter to a different nursery but had been unable to get a place until later in the year.

Wheeler told Tiny Toes she was an “anxious person” and asked some questions about safety. She was reassured that it was safe and was told all staff had regular first aid training.

Roughley, of Heaton Norris, Stockport, denies manslaughter and an alternative count of child cruelty. The trial continues.