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Toddler strangled on first day at kindy
North Yorkshire Police Toddler strangled on first day at kindy

A British kindergarten teacher has gone on trial over the death of a toddler found strangled by rope in a play area.

The Daily Mail reports it took 20 minutes for staff to discover three-year-old Lydia Bishop coiled in rope at an outdoor play area at York College Day Nursery, in the north of England.

She was carried inside blue and not breathing and, despite efforts to revive her by staff and paramedics, she was pronounced dead an hour later.

It had been the little girl’s first full day at kindergarten.

Staff member Sophee Redhead, 25, denies manslaughter by gross negligence and failing to take reasonable care of the toddler.

York College denies it failed to ensure people not in their employment were not exposed to health and safety risks.

York College Day Nursery. Photo: ITV.

The Mail reports Leeds Crown Court was told Lydia was left to her own devices for a “prolonged period”.

Prosecutor Robert Smith QC said staff did nothing to investigate where the three-year-old was and her death was “completely avoidable”.

“Only when a member of staff discovered she was not in the building or directly outside did anyone appreciate she may have come to some harm,” he said.

The court was reportedly shown CCTV images showing Lydia walk to the slide and climb the steps before disappearing from view.

Redhead is shown running to her 20 minutes later and returning with the girl in her arms.

The court was told a wooden bench was put in the way of the slide where the girl died to stop children playing on it when they were not supposed to.

However, Mr Smith said children could simply crawl underneath it and get access to the slide and a rope attached to it.

“If in such circumstances a child’s neck became entangled the weight of the child and the slope would would cause the rope to be tightened around the child’s neck with fatal consequences,” he said.

Redhead reportedly told police she had been on duty outside and was sitting on a picnic bench in the playground.