26 August 2010
A three-month-old baby found dead in his parents' bed had powerful sleeping tablets in his system.
Leighton McGloen was discovered by his distraught mum, Jackie Tunicliffe, 21, after they fell asleep together following an early-morning feed.Tests later revealed there was evidence of temazepam and diazepam in Leighton's blood and police identified Jackie and his dad John, 30, as former drug users.An inquest in Sunderland heard how John rang 999 and desperately tried to revive his son before an ambulance crew arrived at their former home in Bailey Rise, Peterlee.But Leighton was pronounced dead at Sunderland Royal Hospital soon after on February 15.Investigating officer DI Paul Colling, from Durham Constabulary, told the inquest at Sunderland Civic Centre that police were alerted to Leighton's death by paramedics at 8.14am on the morning he died.Officers later interviewed the couple at hospital.Urine samples were taken from Jackie and John, which showed Jackie had taken diazepam and temazepam and John had codeine, morphine and diazepam in his system.John told police he was taking the prescription medicine Subutex for drug withdrawal.Jackie admitted she had been given tablets for pain relief by her sister and thought they were codeine.She also said in interview she had breastfed Leighton since his birth in November last year.DI Colling told the inquest yesterday that Leighton woke Jackie at 2am on the day he died."He went to sleep in her arms and she laid him down on her side of the bed"John told police he was woken up about 7.50am by Jackie screaming that Leighton was not breathing, and called 999.No charges were brought against the couple and police have now closed the case.Paedatric pathologist Dr Christopher Wright said: "On the basis of what the toxicologist was able to tell me, I was not able to say for certain whether that (temazepam) would have played a direct role in his death.""The evidence does not allow me to go as far as saying Leighton died from the result of an overlaying situation, but that does mean that is the possibility that I cannot exclude."Another possibility I cannot exclude is that Leighton died from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome," he added.