Holly Roe 'died from shaking injuries' at Crowborough home

  • Published
Tiffany TateImage source, Eddie Mitchell
Image caption,
Tiffany Tate denies all the charges against her

An eight-week-old baby died from a head injury after being shaken by her mother or father, a jury has heard.

Tiffany Tate and Michael Roe deny murdering Holly Roe and causing or allowing her death at their Sussex home in September 2018.

Lewes Crown Court heard post-mortem tests found the infant had bleeding and bruising around her brain, bleeding in both her eyes and 12 rib fractures.

Prosecutor Sally Howes QC said all the injuries were non-accidental.

"The opinion of the many pathologists involved in the investigation into the death of this baby is that the combination and extent of the injuries found indicates... some form of shaking," she said.

Ms Howes said experts concluded the brain injuries were likely to be caused by "violent shaking" and the rib fractures were thought to be caused by "excessive squeezing".

Image source, Eddie Mitchell
Image caption,
Jurors heard Michael Roe found Holly and woke Ms Tate

Jurors heard experts found Holly's injuries fell into three key time periods, haemorrhages less than 48 hours before death, several days before she died and a few weeks before her death, while the rib fractures were two to 10 days before her death.

An ambulance was called to the family home in Alderbrook Close, just after 01:30 BST on 10 September 2018, following reports a baby was in cardiac arrest, the court was told.

Paramedics found the infant cold, not breathing and with no heart activity at all.

Holly was later declared dead in hospital.

'Difficulty bonding'

She was born on 14 July 2018, two months prematurely, and shortly afterwards Ms Tate told a health visitor she was having "difficulty bonding" with her daughter, the jury was told.

A few days before Holly died Mr Roe told a health visitor he had taken over night-feeds as Ms Tate "had no patience feeding Holly at night".

On 10 September, Ms Tate was upstairs in bed and Mr Roe was alone with Holly when he gave her a midnight feed, the court was told.

Mr Roe told police she was "absolutely fine" before he put Holly to bed and then fell asleep, jurors heard.

He said later something "startled" him and when he felt Holly's head it was cold while her chest was warm.

Jurors were told Mr Roe woke Ms Tate and gave Holly two rescue breaths but she did not respond.

The court heard Ms Tate told police she was woken by Mr Roe at 01:30 BST who said: "Holly's cold. She's not breathing."

Jurors also heard Ms Tate told police she was woken a couple of weeks earlier by Holly screaming and heard banging in the lounge before she found Mr Roe trying to feed Holly through her nose with a syringe.

The jury heard she told police Holly sounded in pain and was "proper screaming".

The trial continues.

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