Mother and father found guilty of causing death of baby girl who suffered multiple broken bones

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Ava Mae Collard was found to have multiple bone fractures and severe trauma to the side of her head when she died in March 2020

A mother and father have been found guilty of causing the death of their five-month-old daughter.

Ava Mae Collard was found to have multiple rib, collarbone and femur fractures, as well as severe trauma to the side of her head when she died in hospital on 1 March, 2020. Staffordshire Police and paramedics had been called to the family home two days earlier to reports of a baby in cardiac arrest.

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Rebecca Grocott, 27 from Stone, and Joshua Collard, 30 from Stafford, were convicted of causing and allowing the death of a child, causing and allowing serious physical harm to a child, and two counts of assault, ill-treatment, neglect, and abandonment of a child or young person to cause unnecessary suffering and injury.

The couple had denied all the charges at a previous hearing, testifying that they did not know how the injuries were sustained and denied harming Ava. But after a five-week-long trial they were found guilty by a jury and will be sentenced on 27 July.

Ava Mae Collard was found to have multiple bone fractures and severe trauma to the side of her head when she died in March 2020 - Credit: Staffordshire PoliceAva Mae Collard was found to have multiple bone fractures and severe trauma to the side of her head when she died in March 2020 - Credit: Staffordshire Police
Ava Mae Collard was found to have multiple bone fractures and severe trauma to the side of her head when she died in March 2020 - Credit: Staffordshire Police | Credit: Staffordshire Police

Paramedics were first called to the family address in Stone on 27 February, 2020 with the parents reporting Ava Mae was in cardiac arrest. She was treated in an ambulance but later died in hospital, with a post-mortem examination leading to her parents' arrest on 25 March, 2020.

Detective constable Emily Hanlon from Staffordshire Police's Child Protection and Exploitation team said in a statement: "This was a truly tragic case in which five-month-old Ava died as a result of the actions of two people who should have protected her. I would like to thank all of those involved in securing justice for Ava Mae. Our thoughts continue to remain with everyone affected by Ava Mae’s death.”