Newborn baby killed by mum high on cocaine after falling asleep & squashing her in hospital
A coroner has called on CPS to 're-assess' the decision not to charge a mother who allegedly took cocaine after giving birth and squashed her newborn baby to death after falling asleep, an inquest has heard.
Keira-Mae Jones was born 5lb 5oz in the early hours of May 14, 2020 at Barnsley Hospital after being induced, and was set to be taken into immediate foster care, Sheffield Coroners Court was told yesterday.
On May 16, just two days after being born, the child suffered catastrophic brain damage and was found face down on her mother Aimee Jones's bed in the hospital's neonatal ward, an inquest heard.
Following desperate attempts to resuscitate Keira-Mae, she was placed on life support - but this was switched off four months later.
Blood and urine tests taken from Aimee, who could face charges for manslaughter, a few hours after the child was found unresponsive showed she had taken cocaine recently, the inquest heard. She denied she was on drugs hours before her daughter died.
Aimee, from Barnsley, South Yorkshire, was arrested on suspicion of 'criminal overlay' for taking the little girl to bed while under the influence of substances at the time.
But senior coroner David Urpeth said he was 'surprised' charges hadn't been brought against Aimee, 32, and called on the CPS to 're-assess' their decision.
Mr Urpeth ruled yesterday that the little girl had died due to 'the unlawful act of the mother', the inquest heard.
He said: 'I find the death of Keira-Mae Jones was due to the unlawful act of the mother.
'I am satisfied that the finding of cause of death in this case on the balance of probability is unlawful killing.
'I am surprised the CPS did not authorise charges in this tragic case. I would ask this case be referred back to the CPS to reassess their decision.'
Aimee Jones, from Barnsley, South Yorkshire, was arrested on suspicion of 'criminal overlay' for taking the little girl to bed while under the influence of substances at the time. She had denied she was on drugs hours before her daughter died, but said someone on cocaine could care for a baby as it 'makes you more alert'
Aimee had been taking opioid-based painkillers while expecting Keira-Mae, so the child had to be kept in the hospital for up to five days to watch if she was suffering from withdrawal symptoms.
On May 16, the child suffered catastrophic brain damage and was found face down on her mother's bed in the hospital's neonatal ward.
The inquest was told Aimee went on to hold up to nine house parties and drinking with friends in the days following the child's death - and during the height of the pandemic.
Blood and urine tests taken from Aimee a few hours after the child was found unresponsive revealed she had taken cocaine recently, the inquest heard.
When asked to pinpoint an exact day when the mother might have taken the drug, toxicologist Dr Dianna Garside said evidence suggested a three-day window between May 14 - the day Keira-Mae was born - and May 16 - the day she was found unresponsive, Yorkshire Live reports.
Police in Athersley South, Barnsley, South Yorkshire, on 16 September 2020 in relation to the death of baby Keira-Mae Jones
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