Two women have admitted child cruelty after a two-year-old died in 'tragic' circumstances. Emma Lomax-Newton, 29, and Cindy Molyneux, 52, both pleaded guilty to the offence following the death of Masie Lomax-Newton.

The pair were previously charged with manslaughter but were formally found not guilty of that charge. Manchester Crown Court heard that the prosecution accepted the guilty plea to the lesser offence following 'discussions at a high level within the Crown Prosecution Service'.

The facts surrounding the toddler's death in December 2021 have not been yet disclosed. Masie, from Atherton, Wigan, died at the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital.

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Ms Molyneux wept as she pleaded guilty. The pair will be sentenced next month. Judge Nicholas Dean KC, the Honorary Recorder of Manchester, told the defendants that they would not be sent to jail.

He said: "You have pleaded guilty to an offence that is serious. The circumstances are tragic.

"They have impacted very much upon each of you, that I can see having seen you over several months. This is not a case in which sentences of imprisonment are appropriate.

"What the correct sentences may be is something that I haven't decided. I need to see a good deal more material before reaching conclusions.

"I want to know about the effect on you of what occurred, and I want to know about the effect on the wider family as well." The judge said the case would be given a priority and be heard before Christmas.

"These two defendants have had to endure a lengthy period of suffering in effect," he said. "The sooner that can be put to an end, the better."