Daycare Manager Who Strapped 9-Month-Old Girl Face Down on Beanbag Found Guilty of Manslaughter

Kate Roughley, 37, left 9-month-old Genevieve Meehan unattended for 90 Minutes

<p>Manchester greater police/x</p> Genevieve Meehan

Manchester greater police/x

Genevieve Meehan

A daycare manager has been found guilty of manslaughter over the death of a nine-month-old girl in her care.

Kate Roughley, 37, from Stockport, England, received the guilty verdict on Monday, May 20, after she strapped baby Genevieve Meehan face down on a beanbag for 90 minutes. This caused her death at the Tiny Toes Day Nursery in Stockport on May 9, 2022, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) stated in a press release.

Roughley found Meehan unresponsive at the daycare center at 3:12 p.m. local time after she placed the nine-month-old to sleep in a restraint face down on a beanbag at 1:35 p.m., per the release.

CCTV footage showed Meehan crying as she struggled, unable to move while being left alone for 90 minutes with barely any supervision from Roughley, despite the daycare worker telling police that she had checked on her “at least every five minutes” after calling them to the scene.

<p>Ioannis Alexopoulos/LNP/Shutterstock</p> Kate Roughley has been found guilty of manslaughter over the death of nine-month-old Meehan

Ioannis Alexopoulos/LNP/Shutterstock

Kate Roughley has been found guilty of manslaughter over the death of nine-month-old Meehan

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Meehan was sent to nearby Stepping Hill Hospital where she was later declared dead. After investigation, a pathologist determined she died of asphyxia and pathophysiological stress from the incident, per the release.

Karen Tonge, Specialist Prosecutor for the CPS North West’s Complex Casework Unit, said Roughley “showed a complete lack of care and tenderness towards [Meehan] and a total disregard for her welfare.”

“It is difficult to comprehend how someone in such a position of trust could have such a complete disregard for a child’s wellbeing and life," Tongue added. "Her actions and inactions have had devastating consequences.”

<p>Manchester greater police/x</p> Meehan died on May 9, 2022

Manchester greater police/x

Meehan died on May 9, 2022

Related: Baby Who Was Decapitated During Delivery's Death Ruled a Homicide by Medical Examiner

According to the CPS release, CCTV footage showed Roughley telling a colleague that she put Meehan down on the beanbag, as it would not be "wasting a cot.” She showed “examples of ill-feeling” to Meehan, calling her “vile” as she ignored her cries, added the CPS.

Roughley pleaded not guilty to manslaughter and child cruelty in front of a jury at Manchester Crown Court on May 20, maintaining that the baby’s death was a “terrible, unavoidable accident.”

Meehan’s parents said in a statement that their daughter’s death has “destroyed our family” and they “grieve for her every day.”

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“We will never accept the cruelty of her life being taken away. She had her whole life to live and was loved so dearly by her family. Her life was full of promise and wonder and it was taken,” they said outside Manchester Crown Court, per U.K. newspaper The Times.

“We will never forgive the callousness of Kate Roughley’s actions. 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.”

Roughley will be sentenced on May 22.

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