Young mother accused of killing baby says she was told by partner not to tell anyone when newborn stopped breathing
- Tiffany Tate and Michael Roe are accused of murdering their daughter Holly
- Tate told detectives the eight-week-old child was ‘making a sound like a seal’
- Tate, 22, and Roe, 33, both deny murdering baby Holly in September 2018
A young mother accused of murdering her premature baby told police her controlling former partner said not to tell anyone when their daughter stopped breathing days before she died from violent shaking injuries.
Tiffany Tate, 22, said Michael Roe, 33, had been looking after their eightlewfore she stopped breathing on September 4, 2018.
Tiffany ate, pictured, is accused of murdering her eight-week-old baby Holly in September 2018
Tate and her partner Michael Roe, pictured in a black suit, both deny murder at Lewes Crown Court in Hove
Tate, pictured with her baby Holly, was described in court as having borderline learning difficulties
The pair are charged with killing their baby between September 8 and 11 at the family home in Crowborough, East Sussex.
Tate, who was described as having borderline learning difficulties, told police Mr Roe had been looking after Holly on his own before she came home around 6:30pm.
‘She started making this really weird noise. He said she’s been sick all over the floor and was barking like a seal. Proper weird noise like she couldn’t breathe.
‘He said it’s nothing, she’s probably got trapped wind. He laid her down on her back and she stopped breathing. He done the mouth and nose thing and she was fine after that. I was there when she made that funny noise. He checked and done the mouth and nose thing and she was fine.
‘Since that day she’s been a bit whingey and a bit cry-ey and a bit scared to bring up her wind. He only did the mouth and nose thing and she started breathing. He thought she was choking on her own sick. I called my mum and said Holly was barking like a seal.’
Prosecutors claim that Roe, pictured, subjected baby Holly to the majority of the injuries
Tate and Roe both deny the murder of baby Holly at Lewes Crown Court in Hove, pictured
The jury have been told expert medical evidence shows the two month premature baby suffered brain injuries on at least three different occasions.
Sally Howes QC for the Crown said on the balance of evidence the prosecution believe Mr Roe inflicted the fatal injuries.
Tate said: ‘When the police came to the hospital, Mike told me not to mention it.
‘He said it wasn’t important. He said not to mention it at all because it wasn’t important’
Tate had been in care before moving in with Mr Roe.
She described their relationship as complicated.
She was worried Social Services would take her baby away or Mr Roe would throw her out of the house if anybody found out their baby had stopped breathing.
Tate said: ‘I called my friend and told her. I said to Mike I hadn’t because I didn’t want him to chuck me out.’
The jury heard Tate was worried Roe would have custody of their baby if they separated.
Tiffany Tate’s support worker, Sarah Beal told the court: ‘Michael Roe said if she left, she wouldn’t be allowed to go to the funeral.
‘She said they had an argument and he said if she moved away, she wouldn’t be allowed to go to the funeral. She took it seriously. She was upset.’
The young mother admitted she considered acting violently against her baby in a police interview.
‘I just said Why are you crying, what am I doing wrong? Sometimes I want to throw you across the wall but I love you too much to do that.
‘I was struggling. I said to her what am I doing wrong? I’m doing the best I can, you need to help me out. Because she’s a baby, she can’t really help me out..’
Tate said she asked her former partner for help.
‘I thought he was setting me up to fail,’ she said.
Tate and Roe deny murder and allowing the other to kill their baby. The trial at Lewes Crown Court in Hove continues.