A FORMER nursery worker and her partner have appeared in court today in connection with the murder of their baby daughter.
Mark Lackenby, 31, was charged with the murder of one-month-old Ruby and grievous bodily harm with intent following the little girl’s death last year.
His partner and former Sprotbrough Sunny Bright Day Nursery nurse worker Gemma Coates, 31, is accused of perverting the course of justice.
Lackenby, a Network Rail worker of High Street in Goldthorpe, tearfully pleaded not guilty to the offences as he appeared with his partner at Sheffield Crown Court today.
Coates, who is due to give birth to another child in two weeks time, was not required to enter a plea as she wiped away tears in the dock.
Little Ruby died on February 17 of last year and the pair were arrested in July.
Since the incident came to light, Coates was suspended from working at the Doncaster nursery.
Barnsley and Doncaster’s safeguarding Children’s Boards - made up of bodies including the council, police and NHS - have also launched a joint investigation.
The pair are currently out on bail and Coates has moved out of the home she shared with Lackenby, the Free Press can confirm.
Coates is expected to appear for a plea and case management hearing at Sheffield Crown Court in September.
Lackenby’s trial has been scheduled for October.