Jury visits playpark where Lydia Bishop, 3, died
THE jury in the Lydia Bishop trial has visited the place where the three-year-old died on her first day at York College nursery.
Jurors saw a reconstructed set-up of the outdoor play area where she was fatally entangled in a rope on a slide.
Mr Justice Coulson told the jurors that “every effort has been made to recreate it as it was” on the day Lydia died, September 17, 2012.
The nursery has been closed for some time and the indoor rooms have been cleared of nursery equipment.
Before they left Leeds Crown Court, the judge told them each juror would have the chance to sit on a bench positioned where nursery employee Sophee Redhead told police she was sitting when Lydia went to the slide.
They also saw a bench and trolley positioned as similar items were placed to prevent children going to the slide.
The jury heard the slide was removed after Lydia’s death and the mound it was on lowered.
But it was replaced on a temporary stand at the height it was for the jury’s visit.
Redhead, 25, of Wenham Road, Foxwood, denies the manslaughter of Lydia. Both she and York College deny breaching health and safety regulations.
Earlier, Robert Smith QC, for the prosecution, told the jury an internal college audit gave the nursery’s health and safety work a Grade One or “outstanding” ranking 18 months before Lydia’s death.
He read out comments from the audit’s report including: “Staff have shown a great commitment and awareness to their duties” and “staff health and safety awareness is considered a strength”.
In a solicitor’s statement to police after Lydia’s death, college principal Dr Alison Burkinshaw said health and safety matters were dealt with effectively, procedures were implemented and regularly reviewed. There were also daily “walk past” checks and other inspections.
Mr Smith said: “The prosecution say that in fact the state of affairs that existed at the nursery and which had existed for a considerable time was one of non-compliance with the control measures identified in this risk assessment relating to the use of ropes.”
• The trial continues.