Genevieve Meehan: Parents will 'never forgive' nursery worker who killed baby girl

The parents of a baby girl say they will "never forgive the callousness" of a nursery nurse convicted of killing their "wonderful daughter".

Kate Roughley, 37, was found guilty of manslaughter by ill-treatment following the incident on 9 May 2022 at Tiny Toes in Cheadle Hulme, Stockport.

Prosecutors said the youngster died from asphyxiation from a combination of "pathophysiological stresses" after the deputy manager placed her face down, tightly swaddled and strapped to a bean bag and covered with a blanket.

Following Monday's verdict, Genevieve's father John Meehan read out a family statement as his partner, Katie Wheeler, tearfully looked on.

"We will never forgive the callousness of Kate Roughley's actions," John said.

"She was entrusted with the care of our daughter, yet she put her own convenience and selfish interests above Genevieve's life.

"She treated our daughter with cruelty and contempt. Knowing what she had done she could have taken responsibility and saved our family from enduring the horror of this trial.

"However, such a basic act of decency was beyond her. Instead, she has lied and lied and lied throughout, and sought to deflect attention to anyone but herself.

"She has shown no remorse for Genevieve's death. Her expressions of sorrow during the trial were as insincere as they were insulting."

In a statement released via Greater Manchester Police, the family described how Genevieve "loved to laugh, to play with her tambourine, to eat spaghetti bolognese and to be with her big sister".

They added: "We are so desperate for her to be in our arms as she should be and watching her put on her school uniform in September when she would have started pre-school.

"Instead, we are here in a place we could never have imagined when we took her to nursery that day on 9 May where she was meant to be safe and cared for.

"The pain of her loss is beyond any measure."

The court heard how Roughley ignored the cries and distress of Genevieve and showed "sporadic" and "fleeting" interest in her wellbeing for one hour and 37 minutes, until she found her blue and unresponsive.

Roughley, who was the duty baby room leader in charge of sleeping arrangements that day, told Manchester Crown Court she placed Genevieve on her side, claiming her face was visible at all times.

She said she had no concerns she was in any distress.

On Monday, a jury of six men and six women unanimously found Roughley, of Heaton Norris, Stockport, guilty of manslaughter.

Prosecutors said the child's death was brought on by a "very unsafe sleeping environment" created by Roughley, which left Genevieve in "mortal danger".

Peter Wright KC said the youngster's desperate fight for survival was clear but her crying and the thrashing and writhing of her body were routinely and repeatedly ignored.

Roughley paid "lip service" to any meaningful checks and Genevieve's wellbeing until it was too late, he said.

Her actions were said to be fuelled by an "illogical and disturbing hostility" towards the youngster which was revealed on further CCTV footage from 5 and 6 May.

She was subjected to "rough handling" by Roughley, who called her "stress head" and on one occasion told her: "Genevieve go home. Do you have to be so loud and constant? Change the record."

Detective Inspector Charlotte Whalley, speaking outside Manchester Crown Court, said: "Genevieve should have gone home to her family that day and it was down to the actions of Kate Roughley that she did not.

"From the outset, my team has worked tirelessly with the CPS and the council to ensure we can bring some sense of justice for the family... and we will continue to do all that we can to support them."