Six-day-old newborn baby died being cradled in his dad’s arms after both parents fell asleep


A SIX-DAY-OLD baby boy died in his sleeping dad’s arms, an inquest heard.

Joseph Lee, known as Joey, stopped breathing while being cradled as parents Amy Willis and Kevin Stanley slept.

Six-day-old baby Joey died in his sleeping dad’s arms (File picture)
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His mum and dad, from Moretonhampstead, Devon described newborn Joey as a healthy and normal baby who was suffering from colic.

The day before his death, Joey was fed at 9.30pm, and two hours later was asleep on the sofa with his parents, who had been watching television.

Mr Stanley awoke at 1am with his tiny son in the crook of his arm.

But after he carried baby Joey to the kitchen as he fetched some ice cream Mr Stanley realised he wasn’t breathing.

Despite an extensive post-mortem examination the cause of Joey’s death could not be confirmed, the inquest at Exeter’s County Hall heard.


But co-sleeping could have been a contributory factor in his tragic death, it was suggested.

Miss Willis, who is pregnant again, told the inquest she couldn’t remember advice health professionals gave her about sleeping babies.

She said: “There is a list of things I should have known.

“It was just a lack of judgement as he was so colicky so we got used to bending the rules.
“We slept in ways I would not have at night.

I thought Joey would wake up five minutes after we got 40 winks, but it was just not going to happen that way.

Mum, Amy Willis

“I thought Joey would wake up five minutes after we got 40 winks, but it was just not going to happen that way.”

Miss Willis told the inquest she had slept with her eldest child without any problems.

Both parents had their bloods tested for substance misuse and no drugs were detected.

Police confirmed there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding Joey’s death.


Home office forensic pathologist Dr Deborah Cook said: “Joey was found lifeless in father’s arm having fallen asleep so it does raise possibility of overlying.

“There is nothing that can be done at post mortem to confirm that.

“There are known risk factors of co-sleeping on the sofa and parental use, in the broadest sense of drugs/ medication and alcohol, and possibly that both new parents were exhausted.”

She added: “Laying a baby on its own on its back in a cot is the best advice.”

Detective constable Debbie Juniper told the coroner’s court the couple met through mutual friends in 2016.

Mr Stanley had been technically homeless as he was living on a travellers’ site.

At the time of Joey’s death he was said to have reduced his alcohol intake.

He drank around four ciders on the night of his son’s death, but wasn’t drunk.

Recording an open conclusion, coroner Philip Spinney said: “The evidence has not been able to fully disclose how Joey came by his death.”

The coroner’s court couldn’t rule out co-sleeping as a contributing factor in Joey’s death (File picture)
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The inquest at Exeter’s County Hall recorded an open conclusion[/caption]


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