Texts sent by couple who left baby girl to die in ‘monstrous cage’ revealed

Text messages sent by a mum and her boyfriend who left a baby girl to die in a "monstrous cage" have been revealed.

Toddler Ellie-May Minshull-Coyle was tied to the mattress of her bed with tight ligatures across her chest and legs and a duvet placed over her, Liverpool Crown Court was told

A jury heard how her bedroom had been transformed into a "monstrous cage".

The window had also been blocked with a mattress and there were no lights.

Ellie-May’s mum Lauren Coyle, 19, and her boyfriend Reece Hitchcott, 20, were cleared of manslaughter, the Liverpool Echo reported.

After almost seven-and-a-half hours of deliberations, the jury found the pair guilty of causing or allowing her death, one count of child cruelty by "caging" the child in her bed, and another count of child cruelty by restraining her in the bed.

Their lodger, Connor Kirby, 20, of Liverpool, was found not guilty of all of the charges

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".

During the trial, prosecutor Christopher Tehrani, QC, read out a series of text messages between Coyle and Hitchcott, which between the couple following Ellie-May’s birth.

Hitchcott sent a message which read: "I will get it don’t worry why the f*** have been like this today i have done f*** all wrong."

Coyle replied: "Don’t treat me like that bloody let you borrow £35 when that could have gone on Ellie’s trainers."

Hitchcott replied: "Alright for you to be like that with me wtf"

Coyle replied: "Can’t be arsed with it anymore you owe money now pay it."

Coyle soon began to complain to her boyfriend that Ellie-May was keeping her awake at night.

Her text read: "Ellie keeps waking up have to take in living room dont want to go to bed yet."

Coyle often messaged her boyfriend while he was at work, the court heard.

On one occasion Hitchcott sent her a message which read: "I love you baby this one of the ways it will teach her slowly that she needs to sleep on her own."

On February 7 2017 Coyle posted a message on her Facebook page which read: "Finally got my little princess in a routine in her big bed. She is growing up far too fast."

Coyle sent a message to Hitchcott which read: "Stressed with Ellie. She was biting me so I put her in her room. She is banging her head off the walls. I have smacked her loads too."

Hitchcott replied: "I will sort her out when I come home. I will put her in her room."

Coyle replied: "I literally feel like jumping n front of a train. So stressed."

Hitchcott replied: "I will sort it out baby."

On another occasion Coyle sent a text to her boyfriend which read: "There she goes ahead banging her f***ing head again."

On March 20 Coyle sent a message to Hitchcott which read: "Ellie playing up again shoved her in her room."

Hitchcott replied: "She will behave when I am home ha ha."

Mr Tehrani also told the court that Ellie-May’s medical condition deteriorated in the months leading up to her death.

The toddler suffered from vomiting and diarrhea, and a doctor said that she was suffering from gastroenteritis.

The case was adjourned for sentencing at a later date.

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