Baby dies after being crammed into single bed with parents

Baby dies after being crammed into single bed with parents
Published: 2014 September 29 16:28:47 (10294 Views)
22-year-old Letisha Roberts was charged with causing baby Alesha's death by 'overlaying' and child neglect but the allegations were dropped after medical reports differed over whether or not the baby died of suffocation.

The hearing was told Ms Roberts - who has since given birth to another daughter - had been given 'safe sleeping' advice for a baby by a midwife yet she was not 'fully conscious' of the risk factors of drug use, drink and smoking in front of the child.

The incident occurred in November 2012 after Ms Roberts from Old Swan, Liverpool, took Alesha to visit Alesha's Iraqi father at his one bedroom flat in Blackpool.

The father, named only at the hearing as 'Ahmed', had moved to the seaside resort to find work but has since returned to his native country.

The inquest heard how the baby would normally sleep in her own cot at home but had to sleep in a car seat whilst at the flat.

On November 15, the couple spent the afternoon in Blackpool before returning to the flat at around 5pm ordering a takeaway, consuming vodka and smoking cannabis and cigarettes whilst Alesha fell asleep in the car seat.

She said the vodka was diluted with orangeade and she insisted she was not drunk, while she said she had no more than two puffs on the cannabis joint.



Alesha woke around 2am needing to feed and Ahmed passed the little girl to Ms Roberts who then breast fed the baby in bed whilst he fell asleep. Ms Roberts told the inquest that she had lay the baby between them both in the single bed in order to 'cuddle'.
 
Both parents were later arrested and interviewed under caution but Ahmed was later released on the basis that he had fallen asleep and was not to know that the baby had been placed between them.

Midwife Joan Cottington said that she had discussed 'safe sleeping' with Ms Roberts and that she was given a pack as well as discussions about the dangers of co-sleeping.

The midwife had visited her Liverpool home on November 6 and 11 and upon both visits there had been 'no concerns'.

She added: 'Throughout my time with Letisha she was always very good at communicating. I was aware that she was visiting Blackpool to see her partner, I was surprised that Letisha had placed her in bed with her. Letisha was always very compliant.'

Assistant coroner for Blackpool Mr Derek Baker returned a narrative conclusion saying there would always be 'unanswered questions' and added: 'What I don't know is whether it was a natural cause of death and what the effects of sleeping with parents was. The sleeping environment in my opinion put her at greater risk of cot death or overlaying.

'I'm satisfied that Letisha you were anxious to do your best for Alesha and you did co-operate with the midwife. I don't believe you were fully conscious of the risk factors. I can't say whether the outcome would have been different if Alesha hadn't shared the bed.

'This may have been overlaying, it may not. It may be cot death. All the answers will never become apparent in this case. The sleeping environment may have contributed but the extent of the contribution, if any, is unclear.'




Source - Mirror

Tags: newborn, cotdeath,
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