The parents of a baby girl say they will “never forgive the callousness” of a nursery nurse convicted of the manslaughter of their “wonderful daughter”.

Kate Roughley, 37, strapped nine-month-old Genevieve Meehan face down on to a bean bag for more than 90 minutes.

Genevieve was also tightly swaddled and covered with a blanket as she was put to sleep by Roughley when she was in her care at Tiny Toes nursery in Cheadle Hulme, Stockport.

Roughley discovered Genevieve’s lifeless body on the afternoon of May 9 2022 before colleagues and then paramedics attempted to revive the child but her condition was irreversible and she was pronounced dead later that day in hospital.

On Monday, a jury at Manchester Crown Court unanimously found Roughley guilty of the offence after the prosecution said she “persecuted” the youngster for occupying too much of her time.

The Crown said the youngster died from asphyxiation brought on by a combination of pathophysiological stresses created by a “very unsafe sleeping environment”.

Roughley put Genevieve, known to her family as Gigi, in “mortal danger” and then deliberately did nothing about it, Manchester Crown Court heard.

In his closing speech, prosecutor Peter Wright KC said: “She considered Genevieve was occupying too much of her time and was too vocal, too demanding, so she was going to do something about it.

“Genevieve was being punished for her earlier perceived misdemeanours, for not sleeping long enough for her liking. She was being banished to the bean bag and restrained.

“It was a recipe for disaster, and disaster there followed.”

Following the verdict, Genevieve’s father John Meehan read out a family statement as his partner, Katie Wheeler, tearfully looked on.

He said: “We will never forgive the callousness of Kate Roughley’s actions. She was entrusted with the care of our daughter, yet she put her own convenience and selfish interests above Genevieve’s life.

“She treated our daughter with cruelty and contempt. Knowing what she had done she could have taken responsibility and saved our family from enduring the horror of this trial.

Undated Greater Manchester Police handout photo of Genevieve Meehan
The court heard that Roughley put Genevieve, known to her family as Gigi, in ‘mortal danger’ and then deliberately did nothing about it (Greater Manchester Police/PA)

“However such a basic act of decency was beyond her. Instead she has lied and lied and lied throughout, and sought to deflect attention to anyone but herself.

“She has shown no remorse for Genevieve’s death. Her expressions of sorrow during the trial were as insincere as they were insulting.”

Some jurors were in tears at the start of the trial as they first watched nursery CCTV footage of the baby room which captured the tragedy unfolding as Genevieve was left “virtually immobilised” from 1.35pm to 3.12pm.

Mr Wright said the youngster’s desperate fight for survival was clear but her crying and the thrashing and writhing of her body were routinely and repeatedly ignored.

Roughley paid “lip service” to any meaningful checks and Genevieve’s wellbeing until it was too late, he said.

Her actions were said to be fuelled by an “illogical and disturbing hostility” towards the youngster which was revealed on further CCTV footage from May 5 and 6.

She was subjected to “rough handling”, said the prosecution, by Roughley, who called her “stress head” and on one occasion told her: “Genevieve go home. Do you have to be so loud and constant? Change the record.”

Roughley sang to her “stop whingeing” and “Genevieve go home. Please, I’m even asking nicely. You are driving me bananas and I’m not wearing pyjamas”.

The defendant’s case was that Genevieve’s death was a “terrible and unavoidable accident” and not the result of any unlawful acts.

Roughley joined Tiny Toes straight from college at the age of 18 and said she gained most of her knowledge of working with babies and young children from her colleagues.

Giving evidence as Genevieve’s parents watched on from the public gallery, she said she was “devastated” by the tragedy and felt responsible as the child was in her care but did not feel her actions were the cause of her death.

Roughley said she treated Genevieve no differently from any other child as she told the jury she placed the youngster on her side and that she remained in that position, with her face visible throughout, until she made the grim discovery.

Roughley said she made suitable and appropriate checks on Genevieve and denied the prosecution’s claim that she “persecuted” the youngster.

The defendant told the court that the ratio of the numbers of staff to children at the nursery “gradually worsened” during her time at Tiny Toes as the “number of children went up and the number of staff went down”.

The court heard in April and May 2022 the staff to children ratios were at various times one to nine, two to 11, two to 13 and one to 16.

Defence barrister Sarah Elliott KC told jurors that Roughley was paid “£11 to £11.50 per hour” in May 2022 and suggested the nursery owners, Frank and Karen Pell, were making an “awful lot of money” from the business.

It is understood a separate health and safety investigation into the now closed Tiny Toes is ongoing.

Roughley was remanded in custody by trial judge Mrs Justice Ellenbogen ahead of her sentencing on Wednesday afternoon.

She showed no emotion as the jury foreman delivered the verdict.