Mum, 21, ‘threatened to throw her eight-week-old girl against a wall’ before she died after broken ribs and brain bleed

THE mum of an eight-week-old baby girl who died from broken ribs and a brain haemorrhage allegedly threatened to throw her against a wall.

Tiffany Tate, 21, and her partner Michael Roe, 32, are accused of murdering their daughter Holly Roe at home in Crowborough, East Sussex.


Holly died in hospital after paramedics were called to Tate’s house on report of a baby in cardiac arrest on September 10 2018, Lewes Crown Court was told.

A post-mortem examination later found Holly had suffered multiple “shaking” injuries and died as a result of a traumatic head injury.

Her parents deny murder, but Roe told cops that he heard Tate say: “Sometimes she frustrates me so much I could throw her up against the wall. I’ve had her ready in my hands to do it", jurors were told.

Holly was found to have a catalogue of historic injuries including 12 rib fractures both front and back, haemorrhages in the brain, spine and both eyes.

Some of the injuries were said to have been fresh while others may have happened up to several weeks earlier.

Sally Howes QC told the court Tate had trouble bonding with her baby.


The couple also struggled to feed her – with Holly frequently vomiting through her nose and mouth.

Tate is said to have lost patience with her daughter and eventually passed on night feeds to her partner.

Tate told police she once came home and found Holly “barking like a seal”.

While Roe allegedly told her “I think her airways are closing” and Holly then stopped breathing.

Roe did mouth to mouth and Holly was then fine.

When Roe was interviewed by police he claimed Tate had struggled looking after the baby.

He told officers he once heard her in the living room saying: “Why won’t you take this? Why won’t you do this for me? Why won’t you take this f*****g bottle?”

On the day before she died Roe later said that during the day she was “a bit pale” and “her eyes were rolling quite a lot – one was going one way, one was going the other”.


Both parents had already raised this as a concern with the health visitor who had reassured them this was caused by wind.

Overall, Michael Roe described Holly that Sunday as a “happy, gurgly baby” and “happy, happy Holly being herself”.

That night he looked after the baby and he bottle fed her as normal as Tate went to bed to sleep.

She later told investigators: “As soon as I went to bed, my head hit the pillow, that was it, I was asleep”.

Roe wept in the dock as the court was told he later went to bed, placed Holly in her Moses basket and went to sleep himself.

The jury heard Roe was later to tell the police “Something startled me and I woke up”.

Miss Howes QC said: “He felt Holly’s head and it was cold. He then felt her chest which felt warm. He carried out a test for reflex – there was none.”

The court heard he woke Tate, gave Holly two rescue breaths to which she did not respond and then rang the emergency services for an ambulance.

Post mortem examinations found several historic brain bleeds, tears and bruising and traumatic injury to the spinal cord.

Lewes Crown Court heard subdural haemorrhages are a marker for traumatic brain injury and is consistent with violent movement of the head leading to a rupture of the blood vessels.

Pathologist Professor Safa Al-Sarraj, who examined Holly’s brain and spine found injuries from at least three different occasions from 48 hours before death to several weeks.

Miss Howes said: “It is the opinion of Professor Al-Sarraj that the pattern and extent of injuries in this case are those of non-accidental and abusive head trauma.”

Dr. Jo McPartland, a consultant paediatric pathologist, found bleeding in the eyes and optic nerves.

Roe and Tate deny murder and causing or allowing the death of a child. Both deny all charges.

The trial continues.

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