Newborn baby found dead in “filthy” home moments after dad rolled joint for breakfast

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Little Holly-Mae Heys, aged just 17 days, had no medical issues but was found unresponsive in her Moses basket in her “dirty and dishevelled” home in Lancashire on February 3.

She was pronounced dead in hospital despite attempts by her dad to revive her with tests showing the cause of death as “unascertained.”

The hearing was told a paramedic called to Holly Mae”s family home in Accrington, Lancs, recalled the house being in a “poor state from the outside” adding there was a “strong smell of cannabis and the house appeared dirty and dishevelled”.

Mr Heys sparked a joint moments before his daughter”s death, but there is no suggestion he did anything to harm her.

It comes as a mum revealed her horror after

Miss Rowley, a student, told the Blackburn inquest: “Holly-Mae had been her usual self and although she was a bit more whingey there was nothing that couldn”t be comforted or sorted.

“It was one those things that could be easily calmed and was nothing I was concerned about – she was a two week old baby.

“The ambulance didn”t turn up until about midnight to take me to hospital and I came home at 7:26 the next morning. My partner made a cannabis roll up and I asked where Holly was.

“But instead of me looking at her, my partner let me sit down and went to the upstairs room to check on her himself. He came down about 30 seconds later saying “I think you need to check on her, she”s not breathing”.”

Mr Heys, a bricklayer who tried to perform CPR on the child, said: “I had no problem looking after Holly I had done it plenty of times. Holly was her usual self – the only time she whinged was when she had trapped wind or needed a cuddle.

“There was no need to give her any pain relief because she didn”t have a temperature. She slept quite well, had a feed change and wind and went back to sleep. I didn”t sleep at all that night because I was waiting for Beth and expecting her to be in and out within a couple of hours.

“I put Holly to sleep in the Moses basket shortly after 6am there were no concerns at that stage. I hadn”t heard from Beth. I really can”t remember whether there was anything in the Moses basket or not we had two Moses baskets in the house – one upstairs and one downstairs. It”s unlikely I would have put her in there with clothing inside.

“I was tired and was on my way up to bed myself, it was only because Beth text me to say she was coming home that I stayed up.”

Paediatric pathologist, Gauri Batra, said sleeping arrangements could have contributed to the baby”s death – but added that a post-mortem examination would never be able to tell that.

Recording an open conclusion, Assistant Coroner Rachel Galloway said: “I do not know if there was any clothing in the Moses basket – and if there was, whether it contributed to the death.

“I accept that the witness said he did not believe there was but it”s difficult to say whether there was.

“The pathologist was unable to say whether that had an impact on the death. There can sadly be many different reasons for the death of Holly Heys, natural causes and unnatural. We can”t know what the precise cause of death is.”