The Sun : Four-month-old baby found dead after sleeping with dad on sofa

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A FOUR-month-old baby died after sleeping with his dad on the sofa, an inquest heard today.

Little Jack Pilkington-Birnie was discovered unresponsive after Anthony Pilkington fell asleep in front of the TV with the tot on his chest.

Baby Jack was declared dead at Torbay Hospital
Getty Images - Getty

The frantic dad ran into the bedroom to wake his partner Kelly Birnie, who immediately tried to resuscitate her son.

Paramedics were called but tragically Jack couldn't be saved and was declared dead in Torbay Hospital on December 13.

An inquest today heard how the new parents had spent the day with Kelly's family in Teignmouth, Devon, before returning home.

They put Jack into his cot at 8pm before going to bed themselves an hour later.

But the "happy smiley baby who was never stressed" woke up at around 3am and unusually did not want a feed.

Anthony instead changed his nappy and lay on the sofa with him before they both fell asleep before the tragedy unfolded.


Det Con Rebecca Lockley said there were no suspicious circumstances in Jack's death.

A post mortem could not find a specific cause of death in the "well-grown and well-cared for baby".

The cause of death was best classified as "sudden unexpected death in an infant".

A pathologist told the hearing if Jack had died in his cot, his death would have been recorded as a cot death – and warned co-sleeping has recognised risks.

The doctor also said an accidental overlay or an alteration in the baby's body temperature can lead to overheating, which the autopsy couldn't exclude.

Senior Plymouth, Torbay and south Devon coroner Ian Arrow recorded an open conclusion.
He said it was possible there may have been overheating due to the co-sleeping but "we cannot be certain that this happened".

The coroner also paid tribute to "well liked and well loved" Jack, whose death came as a terrible shock to the whole family.

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