Doncaster baby died after becoming tangled in cot sheet

A '˜happy and healthy' seven-month-old baby suffocated in his sleep after becoming entangled in his cot sheet, an inquest heard.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 2nd August 2016, 12:51 pm
Doncaster coroner Nicola Mundy
Doncaster coroner Nicola Mundy

Jack James McGarry was found face down in his cot with the fitted sheet wrapped around his face and neck when his mum went to check on him.

The court heard dad Liam McGarry had put his son to bed as usual and the fitted sheet was securely wrapped around the cot mattress.

Giving evidence at Doncaster Coroner’s Court, mum Melissa Louise Higgs, of Norman Court, Rossington, said Jack was ‘a bit of a wriggler’ and would move around in his cot.

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She added: “He was a healthy, happy baby. He was always happy even when he was teething.

“He was a bit of a wriggler but I’ve never known him to get tangled in his sheets.”

She described how she went into the room on the morning of May 1 last year and saw Jack face down with the sheet around his face and neck like a ‘turban’.

She said: “I just said to myself, ‘Oh no.’

“I wasn’t sure if he had passed away at that stage, I just screamed he was dead.”

The court heard Miss Higgs raised the alarm with her neighbour, Carol Dodson.

Giving evidence, Ms Dodson said she called 999 and tried to resuscitate the baby but there was no sign of life.

Market trader Leanne Wallis, who was working on a stall over the road from the home, heard the commotion and came over to help.

Miss Wallis told the court she started CPR after struggling to remove the sheet from Jack before emergency services arrived on scene.

The court heard both police and paramedics also tried to revive Jack, who was pronounced dead at Doncaster Royal Infirmary.

Coroner Nicola Mundy concluded his death was accidental.

The court heard a post mortem had failed to establish a cause of death but on the balance of probabilities it was likely he had suffocated.

Ms Mundy added: “He was put to bed in the usual way and due to a very tragic accident on this occasion he became entangled in the bed sheet. I’m not sure anything could have been done to avoid this outcome.”

Giving evidence, pathologist Dr Marta Cohen said the possibility of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome had been explored but due to the circumstances with the sheet the most likely possibility was that Jack had suffocated.

She said it was likely that it had happened in the early hours of the morning.