Newborn baby died after mum slept in same bed while high on cocaine before throwing nine house parties, inquest hears

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Newborn baby died after mum slept in same bed while high on cocaine before throwing nine house parties, inquest hears

A MUM who threw nine parties days after her newborn baby died while slept next to her while high on cocaine could face a manslaughter charge, an inquest heard today.

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Amy Jones, 32, denied taking the Class A drugs in the hours before little Kiera-Mae died while sleeping in the same bed as her in Barnsley.

Newborn baby died after mum slept in same bed while high on cocaine before throwing nine house parties, inquest hears

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Little Kiera-Mae died in bed with her mum two days after she was born Credit: MEN Media

The tragic tot was just two days old when she suffered catastrophic brain damage after she was found face down on her mother's bed in a neonatal ward at Barnsley Hospital.

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Jones told an inquest that someone who had taken cocaine would be able to care for a baby as it “makes you more alert.”

Sheffield Coroners Court heard that the mum was seen throwing as many as nine house parties in the days after her daughter's death – during the height of the pandemic.

Doctors decided to turn off her life support off 16 weeks later after attempts to resuscitate her failed in 2020.

Jones was initially arrested on suspicion of “criminal overlay” for taking her daughter to bed while under the influence of drugs.

Keira-Mae's father, Alex Jones, 38, was arrested on suspicion of perverting the course of justice.

Both parents were released without any further action, but an inquest has now ruled that the newborn died because of an “unlawful act of the mother.”

A neighbour told the court that she'd seen her drinking with friends during the raucous gatherings, which took place during the height of the pandemic.

She told the inquest Amy Jones was seen throwing as many as nine house parties in the days following her child's death

She said on one occasion, she'd approached Mrs Jones and asked her to turn down the “loud music” that was blaring from her house.

Jones told her about the death of her baby saying: “I've suffocated her, I did it”.

Senior Coroner David Urpeth said he was “surprised” charges hadn't been brought against her and that he would appeal to the CPS to “re-assess” their decision.

He added: “I find the death of Keira-Mae Jones was due to the unlawful act of the mother.

“I am satisfied that the finding of cause of death in this case on the balance of probability is unlawful killing.

“I am surprised the CPS did not authorise charges in this tragic case… I would ask this case be referred back to the CPS to reassess their decision.”

During the inquest, Jones was asked why blood samples taken from her less than two hours after the incident returned evidence of cocaine use.

Forensic toxicologist Dr Diane Garside had confirmed the drugs were most likely used on the day of the incident.

'I SUFFOCATED HER'

Mr Urpeth specifically asked Jones if she'd taken cocaine and if her partner had provided her with urine to avoid a positive drugs test, to which she replied “no”.

But when he asked her if someone could look after a child while on cocaine, Jones said: “Yes. Cocaine makes you more alert. I'm not saying it's right… but yes, you can.”

The inquest heard Keira-Mae was set to be subject to an interim care order, where a child is removed from their parents' care and fostered.

But as Jones was taking opioid-based painkillers while pregnant, the little girl had to be kept in the hospital for up to five days to watch if she was suffering from withdrawal symptoms.

A senior midwife who cared for Jones, Joanne Posket, told the hearing that she seemed positive and talkative on the day after Keira-Mae's birth.

But she added that she was negative and irritable on the day of the incident after arguing with her partner about her 16 dogs potentially being taken away from her.

Mr Urpeth said he believed this mood swing was caused by substance abuse, but Jones denied this.

Jones told the inquest that she had taken her daughter to bed to feed her, and her next memory was waking up and finding her daughter face down on the bed.

Medics rushed to save Keira-Mae's life and were initially able to resuscitate her, as Jones reportedly gathered her belongings in a carrier bag, and wrote a note apologising to Keira-Mae that she was “better off without me”.

She then met up with Alex Jones in the car park of the hospital, who convinced her to go back inside.

A blood sample taken from Amy Jones less than two hours after the incident, which showed by-products of cocaine use.

I find on balance of probability that Amy was not fit to care for a baby due to her drug intoxication

Senior Coroner David Urpeth

South Yorkshire Police DS Julie Thorpe said the decision to arrest Amy and Alex Jones came eight hours after the incident when officers reviewed bodycam footage of her demeanour.

DS Thorpe said: “My immediate thought when I saw the footage was this female is clearly under the influence of substances and we need to locate her and arrest her.”

When interviewed by police Jones denied using cocaine, and told cops that she had fallen asleep and squashed the tot.

The couple were bailed on May 20, 2020, and outside of further interviews, no action was taken.

In his ruling, Mr Urpeth said: “It's the finding of the experienced officer Thorpe that the mother was 'obviously intoxicated'.

“I find as a fact there were material, dramatic changes in her behaviour on May 16 and these indicate intoxication.

“Therefore, taking both of these into account, I find on balance of probability the most likely time the cocaine was taken was in hospital on May 16.

“I find on balance of probability that Amy was not fit to care for a baby due to her drug intoxication.

“The unlawful act of the mother directly led to Keira's death. That is someone who could and should have provided protection and care for Keira-Mae. It is a tragedy that she didn't.

“Therefore I have to reach a conclusion and I am satisfied on balance of probability the appropriate conclusion to record in this case is unlawful killing.”

Jones, who was present to give evidence, left before the ruling was complete.

Newborn baby died after mum slept in same bed while high on cocaine before throwing nine house parties, inquest hears

Jones allegedly threw nine house parties in the aftermath of her daughters death Credit: MEN Media

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