Baby died despite parents' warning over sleeping arrangements

By Matthew Bates Wednesday 12 December 2012 Updated: 13/12 12:13

A BABY died sleeping in the bed of parents who had been drinking the night before, it has been revealed.

A review into the death last year found midwives had given the city mum warnings over possible dangers after the May 2011 birth, but she admitted to ignoring the advice on numerous occasions.

The two-month-old, who had three older siblings and is known only as Child W, was found dead by the mother after her partner had placed the baby between them in bed.

Just weeks earlier, police and social services had been called to the house after a drunken and violent argument broke out.

The mother sustained an injury and both were judged to be incapable of looking after the children.

A meeting was held to look for a solution but a "suitably experienced senior social worker" who chaired the meeting claimed there was insufficient evidence for immediate action and that a six-week assessment should be made.

However, one week later the child had died.

The report, released this week, said with hindsight it was arguable there was sufficient evidence to take immediate steps to protect the child.

Among its findings was a lack of clarity between authorities after the mother had moved to the city from Birmingham - and that high levels of demand led to difficulties.

Amy Weir, chair of Coventry Safeguarding Board, said: "The death of a child is always tragic and it is our duty to make sure that we learn all we can to try to prevent such events from happening in future."

Coun Jim O'Boyle, cabinet member for city council's children's services, said it was an extremely sad case.

"While the review found the death was not preventable there are always things we can learn and change following such a complex case.

"We fully agree with the recommendations made within the serious case review and welcome the opportunity for all partners involved in this case to understand how procedures can be improved.

"It is a priority for the Council and its partners to do more work on supporting victims of domestic violence."

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