Woman in child death case was sent sailing

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The Independent Online
A MOTHER accused of the manslaughter of her three-year-old daughter was taken on a pounds 1,000 sailing trip, with a judge's approval, just weeks before being jailed for 10 years, writes Esther Oxford.

Probation officers said the trip gave Tina White, 23, 'breathing space' to 'develop her self-worth'. The trip was funded by charities, including the Prince's Trust, and was approved by Mr Justice Holland, a High Court judge, who varied her bail conditions so she could go.

The 45ft yacht Arwen was taken to France and back on the seven-day trip. Among the crew were White, three others in the care of the probation service, two probation officers and two volunteers.

Yesterday her mother, Mary, criticised the trip, saying that while White was away she was left to raise money for a headstone for her granddaughter's grave. Leanne White was battered to death at her home in Hucknall, Nottinghamshire, despite calls to social workers from relatives and neighbours warning she was at risk.

Her stepfather Colin Sleate, 29, was found guilty of her murder and jailed for life at Nottingham Crown Court last November. White denied murder, but was found guilty of manslaughter and jailed.

Malcolm Ayres, Nottingham's assistant chief probation officer, defending the trip, said it was money well spent. 'How do you cope with being charged with the murder of a child which you loved? Being part of a crew, doing different things with your time, have all been judged to have benefited Tina greatly,' he said.

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