Saturday 20 January 2018

Girl (3) 'lay undiscovered for 20 minutes' at nursery, court hears

Tom Wilkinson, Press Association

A three-year-old girl who died on her first day nursery after getting her neck caught in a rope on a slide was undiscovered for 20 minutes, a court heard today.

Lydia Bishop was blue and not breathing by the time 25-year-old nursery worker Sophee Redhead scooped her up from the outdoor play area at York College's nursery, Leeds Crown Court heard.

She denies manslaughter by gross negligence and the alternative charge under health and safety legislation of failing to take "reasonable care" of the little girl.

York College, which operated the nursery for children of staff, students and members of the public, denies failing to ensure people not in their employmet are not exposed to a risk to their health and safety.

Robert Smith QC, prosecuting, said: "Lydia was left entirely to her own devices for what was to be a prolonged period.

"Some 20 minutes passed during which no member of staff, nor Sophee Redhead, did anything to investigate where Lydia was, what she was doing or what had become of her.

"Only when a member of staff discovered she was not in the building or directly outside did anyone appreciate she may have come to some harm.

"Sophee Redhead ran in panic and found Lydia in the slide with a rope coiled around her neck.

"She was carried into the nursery. She was not breathing and she was blue in colour."

All efforts to revive her by nursery staff, paramedics and doctors at York Hospital failed. The little girl was declared to be dead an hour after she was found, the jury heard.

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