Coroner rules baby was accidentally suffocated in bed with parents at Cark

A THREE-month-old baby sleeping in the same bed as his parents tragically died after being accidentally suffocated during the night, an inquest heard.

Radley Mark-Lee Morley’s mother Shelby had awoken to feed him just before 5am but found him unresponsive.

She woke up her husband but nothing could be done to avert the tragedy – which the inquest was told had probably occurred a considerable time earlier.

Pathologist Alison Armour concluded the cause of Radley’s death was ‘overlaying’ by the body of a parent, causing asphyxiation.

She said: “It is unsafe practice to take a child as young as this into a bed with an adult.”

She said the risk could be exacerbated if the adults involved had been consuming alcohol.

Cockermouth Coroner’s Court heard that Mrs Morley and husband Lee, of Salisbury, Wiltshire, had been on holiday at Cark-in-Cartmel visiting Mrs Morley’s father for his birthday.

On the evening of July 18, they went to the Rose and Crown pub in the village before returning to Old Bank House, the holiday home where they were staying.

The inquest heard each parent had had two drinks.

“We had put Radley in our own bed as the house we were staying in was draughty,” Mrs Morley said.

Mr Morley fed Radley at around 11pm and put him back in bed.

Mrs Morley woke up around 5am to feed him again but found the three-month-old unconscious, pale and with bruising to his head – consistent with the cause of death.

The boy’s father performed CPR before the girlfriend of Mrs Morley’s brother, who was a nurse and was on holiday with them, took over.

The first ambulance arrived in 11 minutes with a three-minute stoppage on the way to enable personal protective equipment to be applied.

“I entered an atmosphere which was both tense and frantic, with an air of both panic and desperation,” said paramedic Dale Reynolds.

It was quickly ascertained that nothing could be done, the inquest was told.

The hearing heard Radley had been a happy and healthy boy.

Paediatric pathologist Daniel Hurrell said police had told him that it had been clear from an examination of the holiday home how well cared for Radley had been.

The necessities for his care were described as ‘in good condition and of high quality’.

Coroner Kirsty Gomersal accepted the cause of death of overlaying and concluded that Radley’s death had been an accident.

The Westmorland Gazette | News