Mother and father found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering by neglect
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A mother and father have been found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering by neglect to their seven-week old baby boy who died in 2019.
Kayleigh Sarah Denise Clarke, 32, of Preston, was found guilty of two counts of assault/ill-treat/abandon a child/young person to cause unnecessary suffering/injury following a trial at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court which concluded today (Friday 21 October).
Michael Melvyn Higginson, 52, of Newcastle-under-Lyme, was found guilty of one count assault/ill-treat/abandon a child/young person to cause unnecessary suffering/injury Police were called to a report of a child in cardiac arrest by colleagues from West Midlands Ambulance Service at an address on Derwent Street, Cobridge, at 8.55pm on Tuesday 26 November 2019.
Seven-week-old Ronnie Higginson was taken to hospital where he sadly died at 9.20pm.
From about Friday 22 or Saturday 23 November 2019, Ronnie had been noticeably unwell. He was snuffly, congested, off his food and struggling to breath. The court heard that despite being clearly unwell and despite being advised by a number of people that Ronnie should see a doctor, neither defendant sought any form of medical attention for him.
While the defendants did not cause his death, the court heard that this failure was likely to cause Ronnie unnecessary suffering or injury to health.
DCI Cheryl Hannan, of the force’s Major and Organised Crime department, said: “This was a truly tragic case in which a seven-week-old baby boy died in the care of two people who should have been there to protect him.
“Our investigation found that medical attention did not appear to have been sought for Ronnie when he was unwell.
“Our thoughts remain with everyone affected by Ronnie’s death.”
Clarke and Higginson are due to be sentenced at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court on a date to be set.