Nursery assistant convicted over death of Chigwell girl found hanging from playhouse

09:30 04 February 2013

Rhiya Malin, two, died after her head became lodged in a Wendy house

Rhiya Malin, two, died after her head became lodged in a Wendy house


A nursery assistant has been convicted of neglect over the death of a Chigwell toddler who became caught up in an outdoor playhouse and died from a heart attack.

Chelmsford Crown Court had been told the convicted assistant, Kayley Murphy, of Greenfields, Loughton, had been on her mobile four times in the half hour before the girl was discovered after staff had taken the rest of the group inside.

She was found guilty of failing to take responsibility for people at work and wept in the dock as the verdict was given on Friday.

Her co-accused, nursery manager Karen Jacobs, 38, of Mill Lane, High Ongar, was cleared of a similar charge.

Sentencing has now been adjourned until February 25 when Murphy will be sentenced along with the owners of the nursery, Casterbridge and Education and Casterbridge Day Nurseries. The companies have admitted a breach of health and safety rules.

The incident happened on November 7, 2007 in Eton Manor Day Nursery, Roding Lane, Chigwell, when little Rhiya Malin, two, of Chigwell, had been playing on a scooter and became trapped inside the playhouse.

Summing up the case judge Karen Walden-Smith said: “There was no evidence a checklist was carried out by Kayley Murphy but there is conflicting evidence whether the checklist was needed to be completed on every occasion.”

Each woman had pleaded not guilty to failing to take reasonable care for people “who may be affected by her acts or omissions at work”.

Neither gave evidence in their defence but Murphy had claimed she could supervise while on the phone.

Prosecutor Oliver Campbell had told the court: “A three wheel scooter was found and it is likely she [Rhiya] stood on it, it moved and she was trapped.”

Latest News Stories

Yesterday, 16:17
Robert Bull, the pilot killed after his plane crashed in Gravel Lane, Chigwell

Tributes have been paid to a Hornchurch pilot tragically killed alongside his colleague when their plane crashed into a field and burst into flames.

Yesterday, 13:59
From left; Business teacher Agnelo Mendonca, Thaybah Abbas, Sarvan Chudda, Demetris Kyriacou, Esha Ilyas, Salwan headteacher Indu Khetarpal, Nishanthan Sriskandarajah, Loxford learning support assistant Rehana Chitbaha and Salwan teachers Chhavi Sinha and Angela Ameer. Picture Ellie Hoskins

Teachers from India visiting an Ilford school this week as part of an exchange project gave pupils an insight into the day in the life of their students.

Yesterday, 12:24
Zina Rostas has been missing from Ilford since October 1

A 16-year-old girl went missing on October 1.

Yesterday, 12:00
The inquest for 5-year-old  Fizzah Malik, She died in December 2013 after two doctors said she was OK 48 hours earlier.
Marshal and Rubina Aashtar, with suns Haider Malik, age 16 and Hasnain Malik, age 17.

A coroner has apologised to the heartbroken parents of a five-year-old girl who died in her father’s arms, for their two-year wait to find out if she could have been saved by doctors.

Most read news


You'll be stocked up on toiletries  for a while!

Cosmetics, toiletries, vitamins and more.

You could be splashing the cash at Topshop!

Just imagine what you could do with £1,000 to spend at Topshop.

Digital Edition

Read the Ilford Recorder e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder