Parents convicted over baby’s death
The father of an eight-week-old girl who died at her home in Crowborough, Sussex, has been convicted of her murder and the baby’s mother has been found guilty of allowing her death.
Paramedics found Holly Roe not breathing and with no heart activity when they arrived in the early hours of 10 September 2018. Despite attempts to revive her, she was pronounced dead a couple of hours later.
The post-mortem examination showed that the cause of death was a head injury and the opinion of the pathologists involved in the case was that this had resulted from some kind of shaking.
Following a trial at Hove Crown Court, Michael Roe was convicted of murdering his daughter, while his partner Tiffany Tate was convicted of allowing the death of Holly.
Although Roe denied ever shaking Holly, he was the last to see her alive and evidence from his partner showed that he had no patience with his daughter, on one occasion attempting to feed her through her nose with a syringe.
Less than a week before Holly’s death, she stopped breathing and Roe had to do mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on her, but he warned his partner not to tell the police after Holly was rushed to hospital.
Libby Clark from the CPS said: “This is an absolutely tragic case involving a tiny, premature baby who had barely any time out of hospital before her death.
“When she was brought home by her parents, she was then subjected to appalling injuries on more than one occasion, the effects of which would have been noticed immediately by anyone caring for Holly. Instead, both her mother and father claimed that there was nothing wrong with her prior to her death.
“Evidence from the medical experts in this case showed that Holly’s injuries were consistent with the previous incidents and demonstrated a pattern of behavior by Michael Roe. He was alone with his daughter at feeding time, had little patience and a tendency to lose his temper.
“Despite being aware of what had happened previously to her daughter and knowing that Michael Roe was responsible, Tiffany Tate failed to alert the authorities. Instead she chose to expose her daughter to the continued risk that Roe posed.”
Notes to editors
- Michael Roe [DOB: 24/07/1987] was convicted of murdering Holly, while his partner Tiffany Tate [DOB: 30/08/1998] was convicted of allowing her daughter’s death
- Libby Clark is a Senior Crown Prosecutor within the CPS South East Complex Casework Unit
- This case was prosecuted by the CPS South East Complex Casework Unit (CCU). It deals with the most complex cases in the South East and handles one of the largest volumes of complex cases in the country. Their work includes dealing with human trafficking, cross border crimes, “cold case” murders, fatal road collisions, sudden infant death, substantial fraud, money laundering and major public disorder offences.