Toddler death trial jury visits nursery

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A TRIAL jury in the case of a three-year-old girl strangled to death by a rope in a playground has visited the nursery where the tragedy took place.

Lydia Bishop died after getting her neck caught in the rope on a slide during her first full day at York College’s nursery, Leeds Crown Court has heard.

The jury in the case spent much of yesterday visiting the site as part of the trial where nursery worker Sophie Redhead, 25, denies manslaughter by gross negligence and the college denies failing to ensure safety.

On Wednesday, the court heard Lydia was blue and not breathing by the time she was scooped up from the outdoor play area at the nursery in September 2012.

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. Closed circuit television images from the nursery showed Lydia walk alone towards the slide and climb the steps before she vanished from view.

About 20 minutes later, Redhead was shown running towards the area and then, shortly after, rushing back with the child in her arms, the court heard.

Earlier in the day, Lydia and other children were caught on camera playing unsupervised on the slide. Lydia’s death in the loop of rope was “completely avoidable” had proper measures been taken to protect her, said Robert Smith QC, prosecuting.

In Lydia’s age group, there were 17 children in nursery during the course of that day and three staff, the court heard.

The case against Redhead was that she saw the child walk towards the slide, but took no action to prevent her from going on it, despite knowing there was no other member of staff in the area, Mr Smith said.

She told police she had been on duty outside and was sitting at a picnic bench in the playground.

The trial continues.