March 2021

Crowborough baby murder: Michael Roe jailed for life

A monster who murdered his eight-week-old baby daughter has been jailed for life.

Michael Roe, 33, shook his premature daughter Holly to death and tried to cover up the blame during three murder trials.
Young mum Tiffany Tate, 22, turned a blind eye to his abuse at their home in Alderbrook Road, Crowborough and allowed Roe to kill their daughter.
They appeared together for sentence after being found guilty at Hove Crown Court.
Roe was told he will be jailed for life, to serve a minimum of 19 years before he can be considered for parole.
Tate was jailed for two years and nine months.
Neither showed any emotion as they were sent down.
Holly was born premature in July 2018 but had barely reached her natural due date before Roe’s pattern of abuse ended in her violent death in September that year.
Roe shook his baby daughter to death after watching porn and smoking a joint in his shed.
The jury decided mum Tiffany Tate turned a blind eye to his abuse and allowed him to kill their baby.
The court was told that eight-week-old Holly Roe who was born premature had suffered brain injuries at least three times leading up to her death in September 2018.
She had also sustained 12 fractures to her rib cage before ambulance paramedics were called to a report of her having breathing difficulties.
They found her cold and unresponsive and rushed her to Pembury Hospital, where she was sadly pronounced dead.
A post mortem showed that the cause of death was a traumatic head injury.
Mr Justice Edward Murray told Roe he had murdered his daughter by shaking, catastrophic impact or both.
He described Roe’s behaviour as shameful by trying to point the finger of suspicion at Tate.
He told him: “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 told Roe his clumsy and obvious lies had started before his daughter died and carried on through three trials, which were postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak.
“You changed and added to your account with a view to casting suspicion on Tiffany Tate,” the judge said.
Holly was clearly suffering until she died, the judge said.
“You had the highest possible position of trust.
“I’m satisfied you intended to cause really serious harm and you knew you had seriously harmed your daughter,” he told Roe.
The judge accepted there was no evidence Tate had witnessed any of the abuse.
Tate was described as having mild learning difficulties.
“You never observed him shaking but knew he was potentially dangerous to Holly.
“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.
“You did not take steps to protect her from physical harm. Had you not allowed it, baby Holly would not have been murdered.”
The couple appeared together in the dock at Hove to be sentenced after a harrowing retrial.
Tate and Roe never once looked at each other, Roe, wearing a white face mask and blue suit stared straight ahead, while Tate, wearing a black face mask, black lace top and blue leggings, fidgeted through the hearing.

Roe stared straight ahead throughout the hearing.

Crowborough baby killers face jail

A man who shook his baby to death has been convicted of her murder.

A jury found the baby’s mother guilty of allowing the death of a child. They will both be sentenced later today

Michael Roe, 33, of Alderbrook Close, Crowborough, faced a murder trial at Hove Crown Court after the initial trial in March 2020 was abandoned at the outbreak of the Covid virus and in November 2020 during the second trial, the jury was dismissed following an irregularity.

A third trial was scheduled. Proceedings opened on 3rd February 2021. 

Roe shook his baby daughter to death after watching porn and smoking a joint in his shed. The jury decided mum Tiffany Tate turned a blind eye to his abuse and allowed him to kill their baby.

The court was told that eight-week-old Holly Roe who was born premature  had suffered brain injuries at least three times leading up to her death in September 2018.

She had also sustained 12 fractures to her rib cage before ambulance paramedics were called to a report of her having breathing difficulties.

They found her cold and unresponsive and rushed her to Pembury Hospital, where she was sadly pronounced dead. A post mortem showed that the cause of death was a traumatic head injury.

The jury was told that the final head injuries would have left Holly unconscious, despite extreme pain caused by her fractured ribs.

Her mother Tiffany Tate, 22, along with Roe, faced a charge of causing or allowing the death of a child.

Tate was only 19 when Holly was born two months premature, and had only recently left care.

She had faced a charge of murder, but the trial judge in the second trial instructed a not guilty verdict be returned and the indictment was amended for the third trial.

The jury returned their verdict finding Roe guilty of murder.

They also found Tiffany Tate guilty of allowing the death of a child.

Both will be sentenced later today

Tate admitted she had trouble bonding with her daughter while she was still in the premature baby unit which continued after Holly was allowed home.

When the baby cried, she became frustrated and panicked, Ms Howes said.

Roe took over night feeds as Tate had no patience with Holly.

He fed the baby after smoking a cannabis joint on the night she died, the court heard.

Tate said Roe woke her at 1.30am saying: “Holly’s cold, she’s not breathing.”

Emergency services were called to the house in the early hours of Monday, September 10, 2018 after the couple reported she was having breathing difficulties.

Holly was found to be cold, not breathing and with no heart activity at all, Ms Howes said.

Paramedics battled to save Holly before she was taken to Pembury Hospital in Tunbridge Wells where she was pronounced dead.

Port mortem examinations showed numerous signs of injury on her tiny body.

The eight-week-old had suffered head injuries on three different occasions before her death and 12 rib fractures.

She died on September 10, 2018.

Roe had no patience with his daughter and lost his temper at feeding times, prosecution told the jury.

“Michael Roe knew exactly what he was doing,” she said.