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

12:00 29 April 2012

The inquest was initially opened in March 2011

The inquest was initially opened in March 2011


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 News Stories

Yesterday, 15:24
Smash and grab raiders were unaware they were being followed by police

Two moped riders who were carrying out a smash and grab burglary at a Hampstead convenience store were unaware police were tracking their every move.

Yesterday, 17:40
Ofsted chief inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw. Picture: Joe Giddens

Camden’s primary schools are among the best performing in England – but its secondary schools are still lagging behind neighbouring London boroughs, Ofsted’s annual report reveals today.

Yesterday, 16:47
Yolanda Kenyi with the first gift as part of Highgate's live advent calendar project at Postal Plus in Aylmer Parade. Picture: Nigel Sutton

A privately-run post office kicked off Highgate’s live advent calendar on the first day of December.

Yesterday, 16:00
Archway Resource Centre, on Waterlow Road, provides an irreplaceable setting of community

Eight charities fear for their futures after being evicted from their low-rent premises.

Yesterday, 12:19
Tulip Siddiq is set to vote against bombing Syria

Hampstead and Kilburn MP Tulip Siddiq said she was likely to vote against the package of measures that Prime Minister David Cameron introduced to the Commons last week.

Mon, 17:56
Squatters at 156 West End Lane in West Hampstead are evicted

Squatters have left empty former council offices in West Hampstead peacefully on Saturday morning after bailiffs arrived.

Mon, 15:11
Evidence for the trial

A woman from Crouch Hill has been disqualified from owning animals for life after keeping dogs in cages stacked on top of each other nearly every day.

Mon, 14:03
Claudia Tabitha, 23, Big Issue vendor. Photo: Polly Hancock

A pregnant Big Issue vendor has been overwhelmed by generous offers of support from local parents.

Most read news

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot


Win a beautiful monochrome tunic dress with Great British Life!

Great British Life is offering a beautiful monochrome silk tunic dress worth £179 to one lucky reader

Nike Trainers

Nike’s motto is ‘to bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.’ With this in mind it’s no surprise why Nike is the preferred training gear for most A-list athletes. Get an extra boost in your run or height in your jump with £500 to spend on Nike trainers.

Digital Edition

Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder