The parents of a one-month-old baby who died after they went for a piss-up and forgot where they left him have managed to avoid prosecution.
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Little Freddie Neil was found lying on the floor wedged between a wall and bed in his older brother’s room, and was already dead by the time he got taken to hospital.
Parents Matthew and Kim Neil were arrested and charged with neglect and manslaughter, but now the charges have been dropped due to lack of evidence.
All this despite a case review that found his mum and alcoholic dad spent the 24 hours before Freddie’s death downing “a large quantity of alcohol” in a pub and then post-pub with friends at their home in Blackpool.
Kim says she last remembers attending to Freddie around 5am and husband Matthew, a local DJ, stayed up with the baby until 6am when their friends left.
He says he remembers taking Freddie to bed but has no idea how he came to be in their other son Alex’s room.
The next day we was woken at noon by other son Alex crying at the stairs with his nappy off and poo on the floor. Neil changed his nappy before noticing that Freddie wasn’t in his basket.
After searching the house, he found him “unresponsive and partially wrapped in blankets” on the floor between a wall and bed in Alex’s room, though he has no idea how he got there.
A pathologist says she believes Freddie’s death was caused largely by unsafe sleeping arrangements, though it’s apparently impossible to say what exactly caused his death. Really?
It was Christmas and we both had more than we should’ve, but neither of us was inebriated. I believe I had a fit. There’s no way a four-week-old baby can make it from our room into Alex’s room on his own. It’s a sheer impossibility.
One of us had to have moved him but when I have a fit I can’t remember half an hour before or after. I can’t remember taking him in there, so that’s the most viable explanation. It’s the most sensible one.
Neil was found to be twice the legal drink drive limit, despite his insistence that he wasn’t inebriated. He also told hospital staff he drinks “seven plus pints a day” and had turned down help weeks before the incident.
The pair were arrested on suspicion of neglect and manslaughter, but released without charges last June.
The CPS explains:
We considered the criminal charge of wilful neglect and the file was carefully reviewed according to the Code for Crown Prosecutors.
The CPS concluded, following consultation with the investigating police officers, that there was insufficient evidence to charge either person with this offence.
Seems like they’ve got away lightly there, though at the same time you could say their devastation at losing a child is punishment enough. Of course they’re both total idiots, but they’re total idiots who now have to live with this for the rest of their lives.
Just like the anti-vaccine parents who let their kid die from meningitis. Surely they’re no worse than those two?