Dad who murdered baby daughter jailed with mum who ‘let it happen’

A dad who murdered his premature baby daughter after smokingdrugs and watching porn in a shed filled with sex toys has been jailed, along with the mother of the child who "let it happen".

Michael Roe, 32, was today sentenced to 19 years behind bars for shaking his eight-week-old daughter Holly Roe to death in September 2018.

Hove Crown Court heard how Roe, from Crowborough in East Sussex, had smoked cannabis and watched porn before launching the sickening attack.

It was not the first time the killer had shook Holly, having previously suffered head injuries and 12 rib fractures before the fatal assault, the court was told.

Judge Mr Justice Edward Murray said: "You knew you had seriously harmed her before you finally killed her.

"When you carried her upstairs she was already either dead or in a coma to die shortly afterwards.

"You hoped she would recover as she had before."

The judge also blasted Roe for "changing" his story to place the blame on Holly's mum, Tiffany Tate, which resulted in three murder trials.

"Holly was clearly suffering until she died. You had the highest possible position of trust," he added.

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"I'm satisfied you intend to cause really serious harm and you knew you had seriously harmed your daughter."

Tate, 22, was also jailed for two years for allowing partner Roe to murder their child.

The judge said: "You knew he had harmed Holly before she died.

"You deliberately disregarded her welfare because of your fear of being thrown out of his house.

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"You did not take steps to protect her from physical harm. Had you not allowed it, baby Holly would not have been murdered."

Holly was born two months early on July 14, 2018, by emergency caesarian section. Following the birth, she needed to be resuscitated but was eventually discharged on August 9.

Sally Howes QC, prosecuting, said her rib injuries would have caused severe pain and distress.

The court heard how Tate told police Holly was fine in the hours before her death.

At one of the previous trials, the court heard how Roe had a collection of sex toys in his shed.

The court heard how Roe often smoked more than two joints a night.

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Tate told the jury that she was woken up by Roe at 1.30am on the morning after the attack, saying: "Holly's cold. She's not breathing."

Emergency services arrived at the scene in the early hours of Monday, September 10, 2018, after the couple reported she was struggling to breath.

She was cold, not breathing and with no heart activity at all, Ms Howes said.

Tate said: "He felt Holly’s head and it was cold. He then felt her chest and it was warm. He carried out a test for reflex, there was none.

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"He woke Tiffany Tate and gave two rescue breaths to Holly but she did not respond.

"Michael Roe rang the emergency services for an ambulance."

She was later pronounced dead at Pembury Hospital in Tunbridge, Kent.

A post-mortem exam revealed several previous injuries on her body.

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