Newborn baby died after being put between mum and dad in bed

A three-week-old baby girl died after she was put to sleep in bed between her mum and dad, an inquest heard.

Lydia-Louise Coomer was found unresponsive lying on her right side with her head pressed into her father’s back at around 7.30am on September 27, 2016.

The newborn was rushed to Royal Stoke University Hospital, but tragically pronounced dead by doctors.

Her father Tom Coomer spoke to police about his fear that he lay on Lydia in bed, saying there was ‘no other explanation’.

Describing the night of her death in a police interview, Mr Coomer said he didn’t intend to put his daughter to sleep on top of the covers between him and his partner.

He said: ‘At around 3.30am, I went into the bedroom to go to sleep. Ebony was asleep, but Lydia had awoken and was crying.

‘I picked Lydia up out of her cot and sat on the bed and gave her another feed and I put her back into the cot.

‘After putting her into the cot, she started to cry, so I picked her up out of the cot and put her into the bed in between myself and Ebony.

‘I was sat up playing games on my phone and I was going to put Lydia back in her cot.

‘At 4am, Lydia started to cry, but then fell asleep again. At 4.30am, a notification came through on my phone and that is the last time I can recall and I fell asleep.

‘I don’t know what time it was, but I was woken by Ebony screaming and I saw Ebony cradling Lydia in her arms and she looked lifeless.

‘Ebony was crying and I ran to the reception to get help.

‘I must have laid on Lydia as there is no other explanation. I’m a big man, I weigh 18 stone and I’m 5ft 11. I must have rolled over during the night.’

In her police interview, Lydia’s mum Ebony-Jade Pearson said she woke up to her ‘blue and pale’ daughter and tried to save her life.

She said: ‘Lydia was born on September 3, 2016. I don’t drink alcohol, I do smoke and I smoked five cigarettes a day through pregnancy.

‘Me and Tom both smoke cannabis and I’ve smoked it three times since bringing Lydia home and the last time was three days ago. But we never smoked inside the flat.

‘On September 23, I thought she had a cold and she was prescribed some nasal drops.

‘On September 26, Lydia was put in her cot at 7.30pm and she woke at 10pm for a feed and I went to bed at 11pm and Tom stayed up.

‘Lydia woke me at about 3am crying and Tom fed her sitting up in bed.

‘I woke up and thought it was unusual that Lydia hadn’t woken me up. I then realised that Lydia was in the bed to my right.

‘Lydia was on her right side and was facing Tom in the bed who was on his right side sleeping facing away from me and Lydia was pushed into his back.

‘I pulled Lydia up and she was blue and pale. I tried to wake Tom up, telling him that he was squashing her, and I sent him for help and I laid Lydia down on the bed.

‘I gave her two breaths and then the ambulance attended.’

The pathologist, Dr Roger Malcomson, who conducted the post-mortem into Lydia’s death, concluded there was insufficient evidence to say that Lydia’s death was caused by asphyxiation.

However, he highlighted the risks that come with co-sleeping and gave a cause of death as unascertained.

He said: ‘A young baby sleeping with parents is not a safe sleeping environment.

‘What has been stated by the parents may be true, but I haven’t seen any contributory evidence in post-mortem sufficient to confirm it as a cause of death.’

Assistant coroner Sarah Murphy recorded a narrative conclusion, saying: ‘Lydia was found unresponsive in her parents’ bed and her face was in close proximity to her father’s back.

‘There is insufficient evidence to establish to the required standard the death was as a result of over laying or causing accidental obstruction of the air ways.’

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