Police investigation into Gosport toddler’s death reopened

The inquest is being held at Portsmouth Guildhall
The inquest is being held at Portsmouth Guildhall
Picture: Jon Rigby

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AN INVESTIGATION into the death of disabled toddler Amelia Dew has been reopened by police.

It followed the first day of an inquest at Portsmouth Coroner’s Court into Amelia’s cause of death on June 19, 2013.

She died at Southampton General Hospital several days after an incident at her Gosport home.

The inquest was told yesterday that she had fallen backwards and struck a metal bar of her hydraulic feeding chair.

She was being looked after by her stepfather Robin Dowse at the home he shared with her mother, Natalie Evans, in Beryton Road.

This morning, Dr Russell Delaney, a forensic pathologist who investigated Amelia’s cause of death gave evidence.

Dr Delaney said she had died of hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, a brain injury caused by a lack of oxygen.

He said a post-mortem revealed Amelia’s internal injuries were consistent with what is known as ‘shaken baby syndrome’, but he could not rule out her injuries having been caused by a fall.

Dr Delaney said: ‘The clinical picture was of catastrophic brain injury.

‘In my opinion the overall pathological features are strongly suggestive of non-accidental injury but they don’t provide absolute proof.

‘The bruises identified would be in keeping with being sustained at or around the time of the collapse.’

After a short break, Assistant Coroner Robert Stone followed up with a few questions to Dr Delaney and then told the court he had been asked to adjourn the inquest.

Mr Stone 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.

‘In that case they are telling me to adjourn.’

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.

She spent the first year of her life in and out of hospital.

Upon her death Mr Dowse was arrested on suspicion of murder.

However, no charges were brought against him.