Mother, 22, who let boyfriend, 33, shake eight-week-old baby to death jailed for nearly three years

A mother has today been jailed for over two years for allowing her boyfriend to kill their baby girl after he watched porn and smoked cannabis.

Tiffany Tate, 22, was jailed for a total of 33 months after turning a blind eye to the violence Michael Roe, 32, unleashed on their innocent little girl Holly.

It included him trying to feed her by putting a syringe of milk up her nose and another time leaving her crying in agony. 

Roe, 32, shook his daughter to death after watching porn and smoking a joint in his sex-toy-filled shed.

Tiny Holly suffered fatal head injuries and 11 rib fractures in her short life, inflicted on her on more than one occasion at the family home in East Sussex in September 2018. 

Paramedics found her not breathing and with no heart activity when they were finally called to treat her after the final act of aggression from her father.

Despite attempts to revive her, she was tragically pronounced dead a couple of hours later.

Tiffany with tiny baby Holly, who had been born weeks premature before she was murdered

Michael Roe

Tiffany Tate

Michael Roe, 32 , was found guilty of murder while Tiffany Tate, 22, allowed her child’s death.

Her father Roe told ‘lie after lie’ and sought to pin the blame for the death on the baby’s mother, a court heard.

But a trial found that Holly, who had been born two months prematurely, died at her father’s hands. 

This was a retrial and the first case heard evidence that showed how Tate knew Roe was mistreating her daughter bid not raise the alarm.

After she was arrested over the death she told police Mr Roe had once tried to feed the baby by putting a syringe full of milk up her nose. 

At one point she told how she heard Holly crying with such distress it was like nothing she had heard before.

She said to investigators: “A lot of bad things have happened when I wasn’t there or she’s been on her own. Yes. I could have done more.’

Baby Holly Roe, pictured, was born months premature in July 2018. She died eight weeks later

Baby Holly Roe, pictured, was born months premature in July 2018. She died eight weeks later 

Tiffany Tate

Michael Roe

Tiffany Tate, pictured left, and Michael Roe, pictured right, were both sentenced this afternoon

Holly had suffered ‘forceful shaking, traumatic impact, or both’, a court heard on Friday.

A judge also criticised her mother for allowing the death of her baby.

Michael Roe was found guilty of her murder on Wednesday, while her mother Tiffany Tate was found guilty of allowing her death.

They appeared at Hove Crown Court on Friday for sentencing.

Roe, 33, of Crowborough, was jailed for life with a minimum of 19 years.

The 555 days he has spent on remand will count towards the minimum term.

Tate, 22, was jailed for two years and nine months.

Sentencing Roe, Mr Justice Edward Murray said: ‘When you get frustrated you would lose your temper and lash out, unfortunately for baby Holly one lashing out proved fatal.

‘Clearly you had a position of trust in relation to Holly – the highest possible as her father – which you abused.’

He told the court how Roe and Tate each ‘blamed the other’ in the aftermath of the death of their child.

‘Your efforts Michael Roe to pin the blame on Tiffany Tate began even before Holly’s death.’

Mr Justice Murray said he took into account Tate’s lack of maturity and status as a looked-after person.

Lewis Power QC, defending Roe, cited Roe’s traumatic childhood, including incidents of physical abuse.

‘This clearly in this case appears to have repeated itself,’ he told the court.

He also made reference to Roe’s previous good character.

Danny Robinson, defending Tate, argued that there was ‘no evidence’ that she directly witnessed or learned of any shaking of Holly.

He added that she had co-operated with the investigations throughout.