Holly Roe: 'Dress rehearsal' days before baby's death

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

There was a "dress rehearsal" of the death of an eight-week-old baby, a jury at Lewes Crown Court has been told.

Holly Roe died from non-accidental injuries, and the prosecution claim she was shaken by her mother Tiffany Tate or father Michael Roe.

Mr Roe performed CPR on Holly on the day she died, and prosecutor Sally Howes QC told the court Mr Roe had also resuscitated her six days before.

The pair, from East Sussex, deny murder and causing or allowing Holly's death.

Rib fractures

On 4 September 2018 Holly stopped breathing at the family home in Crowborough, while being looked after by Mr Roe.

During Ms Tate's police interview she said Holly was "barking like a seal" when she got home, and Mr Roe said "I think her airways are closing".

He gave Holly mouth to mouth Ms Tate said after that she was "fine", so they did not get Holly checked at hospital.

Ms Howes said: "This incident was a dress rehearsal for what happened to that child on 10 September."

On that date Holly stopped breathing again and Mr Roe performed CPR under the direction of a 999 call handler.

Holly was taken to hospital in an ambulance but was pronounced dead on arrival. Mr Roe told Ms Tate not to mention the previous not-breathing episode, the court heard.

Post-mortem tests found the infant had bleeding and bruising around her brain, bleeding in both her eyes and 12 rib fractures - some suffered up to ten days before her death.

Image source, Eddie Mitchell
Image caption,
Jurors heard Michael Roe performed mouth to mouth on Holly in the days leading up to her death

During the prosecution opening, Ms Howes told the court that when Holly was born prematurely and in the Special Care Baby Unit Ms Tate did not visit her daily and had to be persuaded to visit at all.

She said Ms Tate got "frustrated" with her baby and had admitted saying she "felt like throwing Holly against the wall".

Ms Howes also told jurors Mr Roe would pinch Holly's toe to make her cry with pain so he could get her colic medication into her mouth.

Mr Roe was the last person to see Holly alive, the court heard.

Ms Howes told the jury that while most of the evidence suggests he shook and killed Holly, there is also evidence implicating Ms Tate.

The trial continues.

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