Father of Ellie-May Minshull-Coyle speaks out as police describe “most distressing case”

Posted on - 2nd November, 2018 - 2:46pm | Author - | Posted in - Crime, Lancashire Police, Lostock Hall
Ellie-May Minshull-Coyle

Two people have been convicted for causing or allowing the death of Ellie-May Minshull-Coyle.


Ellie-May’s mother Lauren Coyle, 19, and her partner Reece Hitchcott, 20, were found guilty after a trial of causing or allowing the death of a child and child neglect. They were found not guilty of manslaughter. Connor Kirby, also 20, was found not guilty of all charges.

The child’s father, John Minshull, has now spoken. He said: “Ellie May was a wonderful little girl, she was so special to everyone around her.

“She was always happy and the best daughter anyone could ask for. The fact that she was taken away from us broke our hearts because she was loved & she will be missed deeply. She is always in our minds every single day”.

Police have also spoken about, stating that the death was entirely unnecessary and pointless, while describing the case as the most distressing the team have ever dealt with.

Detective Chief Inspector Zoe Russo, of the Force Major Investigation Team, said: “This case has been the most distressing that myself and the team have ever had to deal with. To think of the suffering that this little girl was put through by those people that should have loved, cared for and protected her is heart-breaking. This was an entirely unnecessary, pointless and avoidable death of a child.

“I would like to thank Ellie-May’s father and grandparents for the dignity with which they have conducted themselves throughout this investigation and trial. I hope this verdict means that they feel some level of justice for the death of Ellie-May has been achieved and our thoughts remain with them.”

A jury at Liverpool Crown Court heard how on the night of March 22/23, 2017 blankets and ligatures were used to tie the toddler into her bed.

A duvet was then placed over her meaning that she was unable to properly regulate her body temperature. At some point she stopped breathing and her heart stopped.

Police were called to the address on Ward Street, Lostock Hall by paramedics who were treating Ellie May. She was taken to the Royal Preston Hospital but died a short time later.

Coyle and Hitchcott will be sentenced on November 16.

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