Inquest into Gosport toddler's death due to restart after police probe ends

AN INVESTIGATION into the death of a disabled child has found no criminal offences were committed.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 20th October 2016, 6:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 25th October 2016, 8:59 pm
Amelia Dew's step-father Robin Dowse and mother Natalie Evans Picture: BBC
Amelia Dew's step-father Robin Dowse and mother Natalie Evans Picture: BBC

It comes after two-year-old Amelia Dew’s inquest was dramatically halted when police received a phone call and reopened their case.

Now 16 months after the hearing was adjourned at Portsmouth Guildhall last July, detectives have closed their investigation.

Amelia Dew was being looked after by her stepfather Robin Dowse at the home he shared with her mother, Natalie Evans, in Beryton Road, Gosport, when she fell on June 14, 2013, the inquest heard.

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Detective Sergeant Stewart Hall told assistant coroner Robert Stone that Mr Dowse was originally arrested on suspicion of grievous bodily harm after doctors expressed concern that Amelia could have been a victim of shaken baby syndrome.

After her death Mr Dowse was arrested on suspicion of murder. But he was not charged.

At the inquest after hearing medical evidence, Mr Stone adjourned the proceedings.

He said: ‘The police received a telephone call this morning that has necessitated them reopening their inquiries.

‘At the moment they are taking statements. It may be that nothing will come of those inquiries but they have been given further evidence and they are following those up.’

This week a Hampshire police spokesman confirmed to The News the probe had ended.

‘Hampshire Constabulary has reviewed information presented to the coroner during the inquest into the death of two-year old Amelia Dew, who died in June 2013,’ he said.

‘The coroner had adjourned the inquest and following our review no offences have been identified and our investigation has now been closed.’

Previously the inquest heard Amelia was born early at 32 weeks with myotonic dystrophy, which meant her muscles were so weak she could not breathe on her own until April 2013, and had to be fed through a tube.

She also had other complex medical problems, including a chronic lung condition and developmental delay.

Det Sgt Hall said the toddler had spent an hour in her feeding chair being fed through a tube on the day she fell.

During that hour her mother popped out and, once Amelia had finished feeding, Mr Dowse had taken her from her chair and placed her with her back against the sofa so she could watch the screen while he played his Xbox. He then began to pack away her feeding machine and suddenly heard a noise. Mr Dowse told police Amelia had managed to pull herself up on the sofa but had fallen backwards on to her bottom, then fallen backwards again and hit the back of her head on the metal bar of her feeding chair.

The 29-year-old told police he performed mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and CPR because she was not breathing or moving. She suffered head injuries and was in a coma when her life support was turned off after five days.