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Tuesday, 23 Oct 2018

A toddler died after being bound and forced to sleep in a her bed

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Ellie-May Minshull-CoyleEllie-May Minshull-Coyle

News24xx.com -  Tragic, after being bound and forced to sleep in a cage by her mother, a toddler died on March 23 2017.

The toddler named Ellie-May Minshull-Coyle, aged 19 months, was tied to the mattress of her bed with tight across her chest and legs and a duvet placed over her. Then, her bed had been pushed against a wall and the open sides enclosed by the slatted sides of a cot lashed together with ligatures and tied to the bed frame, the court heard.

Sheets and bedding were placed over the sides of the cage to prevent her seeing outside, no lights were working inside her bedroom and a mattress and sheet was also covering the window. 

Her ankles were also tied together, it was alleged, and the sleeping position compromised her breathing, causing her death, the jury of six men and six women was told. There were also marks on her wrists and ankles, suggesting she had been tied to the cage at some point.

The child’s mother, Lauren Coyle, 19 and her boyfriend, Reece Hitchcott, 20, and their friend, Connor Kirby, 20, deny manslaughter . It is alleged that all three, at the time, lived with the child in a two-bedroom flat in Ward Street, in Lostock Hall, Preston, and everyone in the household knew what was going on.

Coyle told police that, from around January 2017, Hitchcott began to bind her daughter to the bed to help her settle in a sleep routine. Hitchcott, aided by Kirby, had enclosed the open side and end of her bed with the slatted side of a cot or cots tied together with ligatures and electric flex from a lamp.

A blue and pink blanket were passed underneath the mattress, the blue one to secure Ellie-May to the bed across her chest and the pink one around her legs.

Around 7.30pm, Hitchcott and Kirby put the child to bed when she slept until midnight but was then unsettled during the rest of the night, prompting Coyle to send a Snapchat message to a friend saying, "This child is pissing me of tonight." 

Around 6am, she messaged her father, Sean Coyle, to say her daughter was still crying but she had left her to cry for two hours. When Mr Coyle arrived at the flat at 9am, he went to the toddler’s bedroom and realised there was a terrible problem. 

Ellie-May was not breathing and an ambulance was called. The youngster was pronounced dead at 10.47am despite the efforts of doctors and nurses at the Royal Preston Hospital.

A post-mortem examination carried out by Dr Alison Armour, a Home Office consultant forensic pathologist, concluded the child’s death was caused by forcible restraint by ligatures in a face-down position complicated by hyperthermia. 

Ellie-May had wrist and ankle injuries consistent with being tied and restrained by ligatures attaching her to the caged structure that she was placed in. Ellie-May’s injuries show that she had been forcibly tied to the bed on more than one occasion. 
 

 

 

 

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