Friday, 7 September 2018

Parents whose baby died in a hotel room alone as they boozed in the bar tearfully admit 'it was terrible mistake'




A baby girl died after being left in a car seat overnight in a hotel room while her parents ‘socialised’, a serious case review heard.
Ten-week-old Savannah had been placed in a car seat in the upright position by her parents because a carry cot was ‘too heavy’ to carry up three flights of stairs.
The tot, known in the report as ‘Child M’, had been left in a room with her two siblings while her parents socialised downstairs in the hotel lounge.
An inquest heard Savannah girl was given a feed at 2.30am after being checked on by her parents - but was found dead in her car seat at 10am.
The parents had been known to authorities for their alcohol misuse problems.
Margaret Atherton, 36, and convicted criminal Steven Burke, 29, who lost two other children, say they’ve “been through hell” in a warning to others.
Margaret says she was hounded out of her home town of Wigan after the babies’ deaths.
Savannah was the third child of theirs to die in just 16 months, after the deaths of Jackson and Leyton at three days old and 16 months respectively .
Margaret sobbed as she told The Sun Online: “It was one mistake - a terrible mistake.”
Meanwhile Burke, an alcoholic with a criminal record spanning 13 years, admits he is haunted by the three deaths, saying: “It’s just wrong, plain and simple”.
Burke, 29, has admitted to downing 15 cans of lager a night.
He has split from Savannah’s mother.
The report read: “Child M’s death occurred in the morning, following the second night of the family’s holiday.
“The three youngest children were settled for the night in the attic bedroom.
“The twin infants were placed to sleep in their car seats which were
upright on the bottom bunk bed.
“The parents had planned to use a sleep system which included carry cots, but this was reported to be too heavy to carry up the three sets of stairs to the attic room.”
In July 2016 the family from Wigan, Greater Manchester. had travelled for a four-day holiday to Blackpool with a one-year-old and 10-week premature twins.
The twins had been placed in their car seats propped up on bunk beds.
But the unemployed dad didn’t hesitate to criticise his ex - who he has since had another child with.
Claiming she “drinks like a bloke”, he said: “I looked to her for
guidance. I’m no monster.”
It comes after the devastating mistakes of both parents were revealed - including their binge-drinking, chain-smoking chaotic lifestyle that saw them live in a cramped two-bed home with nine people.
Social service workers - who were aware of the parents’ alcohol misuse - said the dad would often “disappear for days on end”, leaving their family life “unstable”.
Following Savannah’s death, a criminal investigation was launched but neither parent was charged.
Wigan Safeguarding Children Board’s report said Child M had been born prematurely and was in the high risk category for “sudden and
unexpected infant death”.
A an inquest, the coroner reported a narrative verdict.
The following morning, after the discovery of the child’s body was
found police officers secured the hotel room as a possible crime scene and it was noted that empty cans of lager and beer bottles were present.
Margaret Atherton, who now lives in Blackburn, said: “We’ve had hell. It was one mistake, a terrible mistake. We kept going and checking on them and checking they were okay.
“With the first set of twins, one died in hospital and they put it
down to a few things due to prematurity and stuff like that.
“And then things happened with Savannah. Yeah. We shouldn’t have left her in a car seat and that.





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