Coroner admits huge amount of evidence ‘to consider’ before ruling on the death of Sutton baby

Riley's parents Daniel Hartin and Jodie Hemmings
Riley's parents Daniel Hartin and Jodie Hemmings

A coroner has said there will be a ‘great deal of evidence to consider’ before she makes a ruling on the death of a Sutton baby.

Dr Elizabeth Didcock spoke at the end of the second day of an inquest into Riley Hartin, the youngster who was declared dead but later showed signs of life.

Riley had been described by staff as being ‘stillborn’ when he was delivered by midwives at the hospital in February last year.

But after he began to make noises described as ‘grunting’ hours later, it was found that his heart rate was up to 100 beats per minute.

Later that day he was transferred to Leicester Royal Infirmary but the decision was later taken to allow him to die.

His death was due to severe brain damage caused by complications prior to birth, a pathologist claimed.

Crucial evidence was provided today, Friday 7th March, at the inquest at Nottingham Coroner’s Court by consultant paediatrician, Dr Ursula Ngwu, who described ‘short gasping sounds’ from Riley approximately two hours after he had been declared dead.

Statements were also read out from several midwives on duty during Riley’s birth, including Jane Partridge who admitted she thought she had ‘walked into the wrong room’ when she could hear the tot making noises.

Before adjourning for the day, assistant coroner for Nottinghamshire, Dr Elizabeth Didcock, heard that Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust had launched an investigation in to the death of Riley, and came up with a set of recommendations on how care could have been improved to Riley, and for his parents Daniel Hartin and Jodie Hemmings, both of whom were present throughout the two days of the inquest.

However, it was also heard from Dr Craig Smith, head of school paediatrics in the East Midlands, said that nothing could have been done to save Riley because of the severe brain damage caused by oxygen restriction prior to birth.

A ruling is expected next Friday.

Read the full story in Wednesday’s Chad.