Toddler dies after 'choking episode at home'

The University Hospital of North Durham.
The University Hospital of North Durham.
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A toddler has died after an apparent choking episode at home.

An inquest has now opened into the death of two-year-old Austin Hardman.

County Durham and Darlington Coroner's Court was told that Austin, who lived with his parents in Haswell, passed away on November 23 at the University Hospital of North Durham "following a choking episode at home".

A post morterm was carried out six days later at Newcastle's Royal Victoria Infirmary.

Coroner's officer Julie Nicholson said in a statement to the court: "Tissue samples have been taken and no official cause of death has been given as yet."

Friday's inquest was adjourned until March next year.

Durham Police have confirmed there are no suspicious circumstances and that there is no investigation by the force.