Mystery surrounds Seaham baby death

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MYSTERY still surrounds the death of a two-month-old baby after an inquest hearing proved inconclusive.

Jayden Scholes was born on September 21 last year but died on November 26 at the Seaham home where he lived with his parents Kimberley Scholes and Alistair Dickinson.

Jayden slept in a sofa-bed with his mum while his dad slept on the floor on a mattress because their own bed was broken.

But pathologist Srinivas Annavarapu told the hearing that this had not been a problem.

He said there was not an issue of over-lay, and would not say there was asphyxiation, accidental or otherwise.

The inquest was told that despite a number of discrepancies in communication of the care given to the youngster by Sunderland Royal Hospital and the Durham Health Service, a cause of death could not be established.

Mr Srinivas said his investigation was inconclusive and that the cause of death was “indistinct”.

He added: “Alcohol and the use of a sofa-bed could contribute but I cannot find anything specific.”

Detective Inspector Neville Carman, from Durham Police, told the hearing Jayden was taken to accident and emergency at Sunderland Royal Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 10.10am.

He said: “There were no suspicious circumstances.

“In terms of their living arrangements both parents smoked but only smoked outside.

“During the course of that evening Kimberley had four-and-a-half cans of lager and Alistair had five cans.

“When police went to the hospital, 10 empty cans were noted.

“Alistair had given Jayden a feed in the middle of the night and then put him back into bed with Kimberley.

“When she woke the next morning she noted straight away how cold he was. His arms were down by his sides and he was cold.

“She performed resuscitation and was assisted in doing so at one point.”

Kimberley, of Warkworth Crescent, told the inquest there were a number of discrepancies in the lack of communication between Sunderland Royal Hospital and the Durham Health Service, including not getting specific jabs and receiving the wrong booklet to note his growth rate.

Mandy Lowry, hub manager for One Point Service, gave evidence on behalf of the Durham Health Service and said she understood the family’s sense that if things had been done differently between the organisations, the outcome might have been different for Jayden.

She added: “I do understand that.

“And I will be taking that back with me today.”

Coroner Derek Winter said: “In Jayden’s case he was two months and five days old at the time of his death.

“In essence the cause of death is unascertained and the verdict is open.”

Verdict: open

Twitter: @Monica_Turnbull