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York nursery worker denies manslaughter charge
4:54pm Friday 4th October 2013 in News
A FORMER nursery worker has denied a charge of manslaughter over the death of a three-year-old girl at a playground at York College.
Sophee Redhead pleaded not guilty at Leeds Crown Court today to the manslaughter by gross negligence of Lydia Bishop, a child in her care on September 17 last year and to whom the charge specified she owed a duty of care.
She also denied a second charge of failing to take reasonable care for the health and safety of persons at work.
That charge alleges that being an employee of York College in the course of her work there she failed to take reasonable care for the safety of Lydia “being a child in your care who might be affected by your acts or omissions.”
York College through its counsel Simon Antrobus also entered a not guilty plea to a charge of failing to conduct an undertaking in such a way as to ensure persons not in their employment were not exposed to risks to health and safety.
The trial is expected to start at the court on January 14 next year and Mr Justice Coulson, who will be the judge, was told it is anticipated it will last up to three weeks.
The hearing was told the jury is likely to go on a site visit to the college playground early in the trial. Alistair MacDonald QC defending Redhead said the parties would draw up an agenda for such a visit.
Redhead, 24 of Wenham Road, York, is on unconditional bail. She has already submitted a defence statement and the college was given until November 15 to do the same.
Lydia was found on a slide at the nursery playground allegedly with a rope around her neck and was pronounced dead at hospital.