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Tragic Charlie Petty died after his mother fell asleep while feeding him

A two-month-old suffocated to death after his mother fell asleep while feeding him, an inquest heard.

Maidstone's Archbishop's Palace was told the 42-year-old awoke in her living room at 6am on Saturday, January 13, to find her baby, Charlie Petty, lying on her chest unresponsive.

Paramedics were called to the home in Sandpiper Close, Greenhithe, and Charlie was taken to Darent Valley Hospital.

Charlie Petty died aged two months. Picture: iStock
Charlie Petty died aged two months. Picture: iStock

Tragically, he could not be revived and was pronounced dead just under an hour later.

Dr Anita Nagy carried out a post-mortem at Guy's and St Thomas' Hospital which showed Charlie most likely accidentally suffocated. Curdled milk was found in his throat.

She said "co-sleeping was a recognised risk factor accidental asphyxiation" and recorded a cause of death of Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy associated with unsafe sleeping practices.

Giving evidence DS Neil Martin, who led the investigation into Charlie's death, said: "Charlie's mother was feeding him at 11pm and was burping him when she fell asleep. She woke up to find him limp and floppy.

"There was a lot of milk suggesting he may have choked on it."

He concluded: "The death of Charlie Petty seems to have been a tragic accident. There are no signs of any third party involvement."

When asked if she had any questions Charlie's mother said: "He had never been sick like that. I can't help but think he wouldn't have been that ill without the injections he had.

"The age of injections for premature babies has changed from eight weeks after their due date to eight weeks after their actual birth. All my previous babies have been premature. I really do think think that's got something to do with why he was so poorly.

"If it was likely he would be sick from that if the doctors had warned me I would have been far less relaxed with him. I would have fed him upstairs."

Coroner for North West Kent Roger Hatch said the concerns should be taken up with a medical consultant.

He expressed his sympathies to the family and recorded a verdict of misadventure.

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