Baby suffocated after slipping from his parents’ bed

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A FOUR-MONTH-OLD baby suffocated after becoming wedged face-down between a bed and a radiator on a wall.

Theo Nwuko had been put on his parents’ king size bed for a sleep on the night before he died.

The tot was at first in the middle of the bed with his head on a pillow and a coat over him.

When dad Chris Nwuko, 35, checked on him about an hour later Theo had moved slightly and he rubbed the boy’s back.

Mr Nwuko and Theo’s mum Kirsty McDougall then returned to the living room at their flat in Hillsley Road, Paulsgrove, Portsmouth, to watch TV.

An inquest heard Miss McDougall, 23, who was taking medication at the time, had a glass of Bailey’s liqueur and her partner also drank Bailey’s that night.

The heating was switched on at about 9pm and the pair fell asleep on the sofa.

When Miss McDougall awoke at about 5am she found Theo between the bed and the radiator.

An ambulance was called and Mr Nwuko tried to resuscitate his son.

But Theo was pronounced dead at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham at about 5.40am on October 10, 2010.

His parents were arrested on suspicion of allowing or causing the death of a child.

They were later released without charge.

A post mortem examination revealed baby Theo suffocated.

The formal cause of death was postural asphyxia and pressure on his chest due to the position he was in which would have made it difficult for him to breathe.

Detective Sergeant Stewart Hall said: ‘This was a lengthy investigation into the death of Theo. Many factors were looked at in great length and the matter was passed to the crown.

‘The Crown Prosecution Service decided that there was insufficient evidence to prosecute anybody for any criminal offences in this case, so there are no suspicious circumstances.’

Karen Harrold, assistant deputy coroner for Portsmouth and south east Hampshire, recorded a narrative verdict.

She said: ‘I have concluded that sadly, by a combination of his position on the bed, what I have learnt about his ability to shuffle and move gently and potentially his ability to roll, very sadly it seems Theo slipped down into the gap between the bed and the wall and because his face was pressed against the mattress he was unable to breathe and sadly suffocated.

‘In addition in this position Theo was wedged between the bed and the wall in a very small space and because of that, pressure on his chest would have made it difficult to breathe.’