Mother and father guilty of causing death of five-month-old daughter

Joshua Collard and Rebecca Grocott inflicted horrific injuries on Ava Mae Collard, causing her death, jury rules

Matt Mathers
Wednesday 19 July 2023 12:17 BST
Ava Mae Collard was found to have several injuries following her death in March 2020 (Staffordshire Police/PA)
Ava Mae Collard was found to have several injuries following her death in March 2020 (Staffordshire Police/PA)

A mother and father who inflicted horrific injuries on their five-month-old daughter have been found guilty of causing her death.

Ava Mae Collard died on 1 March 2020 after she was taken to hospital and found to have suffered multiple rib, collarbone and femur fractures.

She had also suffered severe trauma to the side of her head, Staffordshire Police said.

Joshua Collard and Rebecca Grocott, her parents, said they did not know how the injuries were sustained and later denied harming her.

The couple was, however, found guilty on Tuesday of causing their daughter’s death and several other offences, following a five-week trial at Stafford Crown Court.

Emily Hanlon, detective constable of Staffordshire Police’s Child Protection and Exploitation Team, said: "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."

The trial heard that paramedics were called to the family home in Stone on 27 February 2020, and they then called police to report that Ava Mae was in cardiac arrest.

Paramedics treated the baby in an ambulance but she later died in hospital.

Following an investigation into her death and a post-mortem examination, her parents were arrested on 25 March 2020.

Collard, of Stafford, and Grocott, of Stone, were found guilty of causing or allowing the death of a child, causing or allowing serious physical harm to a child, and two counts of assaulting, ill-treating, neglecting or abandoning a child or young person to cause unnecessary suffering or injury.

The pair will be sentenced at the same court on 27 July.

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