Dad who murdered newborn baby daughter and mum that let it happen jailed

A dad who brutally murdered his eight-week-old daughter has been sentenced to life in prison.

Michael Roe inflicted fatal head injuries and several rib fractures on his daughter Holly by shaking her.

Paramedics arrived at their home in Crowborough, Sussex, to find the baby was not breathing and had no heart activity in the early hours of 10 September 2018.

They had been called to reports she was suffering breathing difficulties.

A post-mortem examination later showed the cause of death was a head injury, and pathologists said they believed this was the result of shaking.

Although Roe denied shaking Holly, evidence from her mum Tiffany Tate showed that he had no patience with his daughter, and had even once tried to feed her through her nose with a syringe during the night.

He shook or hit her so hard she suffered a brain bleed, before another incident on September 4 when he fractured her ribs by squeezing her during a feed, jurors heard.

Then on September 10, another violent episode while Roe was feeding Holly saw the baby suffer a bleed on her brain, leading the 33-year-old dad to do mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on her.

He warned Tate, 22, not to tell the police after Holly was rushed to hospital.

Then on September 10, Roe was violent again during a feed which saw the baby suffer a bleed on her brain which proved fatal.

Earlier this week a jury at Hove Crown Court found Roe guilty of murdering his daughter, while Tate was convicted of allowing Holly’s death.

Today Roe, 33, of Alderbrook Close, Crowborough, was jailed for life with a minimum of 19 years.

The 555 days he has spent on remand will count towards the minimum term.

Tate, 22, was jailed for two years and nine months.

During the trial the jury was told that the final head injuries would have left Holly unconscious, despite extreme pain caused by her fractured ribs.

The medical examiners also found Holly had bruising to her brain and spinal cord and fractured ribs.

After guilty verdicts were returned, Libby Clark from the Crown Prosecution Service (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.”