Search

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

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 News Stories

Yesterday, 18:29
Headteacher John Dowd spoke at the tribunal. Picture: Nigel Sutton

An employment tribunal has today rejected a former teaching assistant’s claims that she was discriminated against because of her disability.

Yesterday, 17:42
James Flanagan was jailed for the assault

A Kentish Town man has been jailed for a “sustained, cowardly and vicious” attack which left a top sports journalist in a coma.

Yesterday, 20:38
Crouch End neighbourhood forum members Dave Winskill, Sally Mustoe & Mark Afford

Yesterday, 15:39
The proposed strike has been called off Picture: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

A 48-hour Tube strike due to start tomorrow evening has been called off.

Yesterday, 15:31
Andy Sykes claims he saw a ghost in the early hours of the morning on Parliament Hill

A man claims to have had a ghostly encounter with a Victorian-style spectre on Hampstead Heath.

Yesterday, 14:56
Foodbank volunteers packing food for hungry residents. Picture: David Jones

A foodbank centre may be forced to close, after losing support from charity the Trussell Trust

Yesterday, 12:02
Former Labour Party leader Ed Miliband returned to his old school, Haverstock, this week. Picture: Jack Woodhouse

Former Labour leader Ed Miliband returned to his old Camden school as part of a national education campaign to encourage alumni to inspire current pupils.

Yesterday, 12:00
Noah Stoneman has reached the finals of the BBC young jazz musician of the year awards for 2016. Photo: Polly Hancock

The teenage jazz pianist has an eclectic musical taste, citing one of his greatest influences as American hip hop artist Kendrick Lamar.

Most read news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

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

Competitions

Sony Smart Ultra HD 55'' LED TV

Enjoy the ultimate entertainment experience in your living room with the Sony Smart Ultra 55’’ LED TV. Be the envy of all your friends with this huge TV- you can change your living room into your own cinema! Get the boys around to watch the football or get the girls around to watch the DVD of 50 Shades.. this is a prize that everyone would enjoy! Stand a chance to upgrade your current entertainment system by wining this fantastic prize.

Surface Pro 4

Technology is ever evolving. We are constantly being shown new technology that is innovative, revolutionary and designed to make life easier for us all. Gone are the days of dial up modems and computers so large you needed half a room to store it. We are in the age of smooth, small and sleek. Companies are all trying their best to create technology that is easy to transport and guaranteed to be user friendly.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe