Search

Tragedy of baby boy who starved to death in cot two days before mother died

PUBLISHED: 12:00 29 April 2012

The inquest was initially opened in March 2011

The inquest was initially opened in March 2011

Archant

A baby boy starved to death surrounded by soiled nappies and mouldy food in a “filthy” St John’s Wood flat after his mother contracted a rare condition related to HIV that left her unable to care for him.

The 11-month-old, who can only be named as Baby EG for legal reasons, was found dead in his cot with plates of dry cereal that his three-year-old sister had tried to feed to him.

His mother, who also cannot be named, was arrested on suspicion of neglect but died two days later while still in police custody from a rare brain condition associated with HIV.

Paramedics, who found Baby EG’s body after being alerted by a 999 call from the mother on March 8, 2010, said the room “looked like somebody had emptied a bin liner on the floor”.

Westminster Coroner’s Court heard last Thursday that Baby EG’s three-year-old sister “had the run of the flat for the last few days” and had been left to fend for herself and her baby brother.

A post-mortem found Baby EG had starved to death and his stomach was completely empty.

The mother, originally from Africa, was arrested but quickly taken to hospital where she was admitted to the high dependency unit. She told doctors she had not eaten for two days.

She was found to have encephalitis – swelling of the brain – associated with her HIV. Her condition deteriorated rapidly and she died on March 10, 2010.

Social workers and health professionals had been in touch with the family for years leading up to the deaths.

But the court heard they had no concerns about the 29-year-old mother’s care of her two children.

A paediatric physiotherapist, who cannot be named, was the last medical professional to see the family before the tragic events. She told the court that when she saw them on March 1 there were no signs of what was to happen later that week.

She said that when she assessed Baby EG he had “beautiful skin” and was “immaculate”. The mother was “very proud of her children” and despite appearing low in mood, she was responsive and asked insightful questions.

Shedding tears, the physiotherapist said she had been “horrified and shocked” to hear of the baby’s death seven days after her visit and that of his mother two days later.

“I have played this back and forth for two years, saying could something have been done differently,” she said. “I don’t think so.”

Independent consultant Guy Baily told the court it was likely that the mother’s illness would have prevented her from caring for her children.

A jury found that Baby EG had died as a result of an accident while his mother had died from natural causes.

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

Yesterday, 18:58

The Board of Deputies of British Jews has called for the dismissal of Inner North London’s senior coroner Mary Hassell after a “deeply disappointing” meeting with community leaders to discuss her refusal to respect Jewish burial requirements.

Yesterday, 18:56

Andrew Dismore AM, Labour London Assembly Member for Barnet and Camden, has added his voice to the calls for the resignation of Inner North London coroner Mary Hassell.

Yesterday, 17:00

Dinny Hall has designed women’s jewellery for more than 30 years. Described as a ‘little British Tiffany’, she lives in West Hampstead.

Yesterday, 12:52

For people who suffer with feet problems, it is often difficult to find footwear that is both comfortable and stylish. There is a shop in the West End dedicated to changing that.

Yesterday, 12:26

A gang armed with a hammer raided a supermarket in the early hours as staff worked inside.

Yesterday, 10:23

A Golders Green school is celebrating after receiving an “outstanding” Ofsted report.

We are in a fight for our future: the future of our children, our grandchildren and of our country.

Thu, 08:54

Detectives have renewed an appeal to trace the family of a man left fighting for his life after collapsing outside a hospital.

PROMOTED CONTENT

For people who suffer with feet problems, it is often difficult to find footwear that is both comfortable and stylish. There is a shop in the West End dedicated to changing that.

Toni Krok, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2007, has set up a charity to help people living with the condition and their families adjust to the challenges it brings.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now