Sussex parents accused of killing eight-week-old baby daughter plead not guilty

Tiffany Tate, at an earlier court hearing, has pleaded not guilty to all charges against her
Tiffany Tate, at an earlier court hearing, has pleaded not guilty to all charges against her

Sussex parents accused of killing their eight-week-old baby daughter have pleaded not guilty.

Michael Roe, 32, and Tiffany Tate, 21, from Crowborough, appeared at Lewes Crown Court today for a pre-trial hearing.

Tiffany Tate at a previous hearing

Tiffany Tate at a previous hearing

Roe, charged with the murder of a child under one years old between September 8-11, 2018; wounding or inflicting grievous bodily harm without intent; and causing or allowing the death of a child, appeared via prison video link, and pleaded not guilty to all charges against him.

Tate, who was originally charged with causing or allowing the death, has been additionally charged with the baby's murder, the court heard. She appeared in the dock and pleaded not guilty to all charges against her.

A trial date has been set for March 2, 2020, and both will appear for a pre-trial hearing in January, the court heard.

Tate was granted further bail with conditions.

Judge Christine Laing QC told the court that she had considered that Tate was not originally charged with murder.

She added that with the input of social services, this would protect her rather than her going into prison. She said that Tate had also faced a backlash on social media.

Judge Christine Laing QC said Tate must remain at the address she is living at, directed by social services, and she must not move from that address without permission of the through care service at East Sussex County Council.

She must observe a curfew and must be indoors every night. A police officer also has the right to attend to ensure she is there, she said.

Tate must also report to her nearest police station on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, between 10am and 2pm, the court heard, and she must continue to have support of the through care service and must not try to stop this.

Additionally, she must also deactivate her social media accounts for her own safety and must not contact any witnesses.

Paramedics were called to Roe's house in Alderbrook Close, Crowborough, in the early hours of September 10, 2018, where baby Holly was reported to be having breathing difficulties. She was taken to Pembury Hospital, where she was tragically pronounced dead.

A post mortem showed that the cause of death was a traumatic head injury.