A mum found her baby boy unresponsive and with a “blue mouth” on the bed where he was sleeping, an inquest heard.
Beni Lupu fell asleep on his mum’s bed in Glodwick, Oldham, Greater Manchester, on June 13 last year.
His mum Marianne Lupu left the bedroom and went downstairs with one of her other children and when she returned two hours later, she found the five-month-old boy unresponsive.
An inquest hearing at Rochdale Coroner’s Court heard paramedics were called to the property and the baby was transferred to Royal Oldham Hospital, the Manchester Evening News reports.
Despite efforts by medical staff to try and resuscitate him, Beni was pronounced dead a short time later.
The court heard that prior to his death, Beni had been a “happy” and “healthy” baby and had attended regular medical check-up appointments with his dad, Jheorghe Lupu.
Mr Lupu arrived in Oldham from Romania for work in 2018 and a few months later his wife and young family came to join him.
The hearing was told that Beni’s parents had recently been referred to the help of local social services after one of his elder siblings was seriously injured having fallen down the stairs.
The court heard that Beni had been sharing a double bed with his mum and sibling in the evening prior to his death.
Mr Lupu had been asleep on the floor with the couple’s other two children, having finished a night shift.
Beni woke up at around 12am and then again at 2am for a feed, before being placed on his back and being given a pillow, the court heard.
Detective Inspector Kenny Blain said the house was in a “poor state” when officers from Greater Manchester Police visited it following Beni’s death.
He told the inquest: “The property was cockroach infested and there were rodent pellets on the floor.”
The inquest heard Mr Lupu had reported the issue to his landlord, but it was still unresolved at the time of Beni’s death.
DI Blain said he believed the sleeping arrangements were “unsuitable” and “unnecessary” as he noted there was another bedroom with a spare double bed available.
He said: “One of the bedrooms had a mosses basket which was covered in miscellaneous items.
“The bed that Beni was sleeping on was full of fleeces and blankets. There was a cot which was reportedly broken but it appeared to be functional.
“The property was extremely warm and the radiators were turned up high.
“There were cigarette butts in the toilet and the back bedroom. There was no evidence of smoking in the main bedroom.”
DI Blain added that although the sleeping arrangements were not suitable for four young children, there were no signs that Beni had been “physically neglected”.
No criminal charges were brought against Beni’s parents and the family is understood to have returned to Romania.
Paediatric Pathologist, Dr Gemma Petts, told the court that despite extensive tests, she was unable to ascertain the cause of Beni’s sudden death.
Dr Petts said that on examination, Beni had no external injuries and toxicology results showed no drugs or alcohol in his system at the time of his death.
The tot had a number of viral infections at the time, but none of these were deemed to have contributed to his death, Dr Petts said.
She told the court that Beni’s death could be attributed to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), but added that she could not be sure what caused him to pass away.
Dr Petts said: “Unsafe sleeping is very often seen in children who die suddenly.
“At 20 weeks, he would have been at risk of getting in a position where he couldn’t get himself out.
“Another risk factor is a household where smoking occurs.”
A statement read to the court from Dr Simon Walton, a GP at Glodwick Primary Care Centre, outlined Beni’s short medical history.
He was seen in the first few months of his life after displaying symptoms of jitteriness and head lag and was said to have low vitamin D and calcium levels.
The inquest was told that on March 19, 2020, Beni underwent a child protection assessment at Royal Oldham Hospital at the request of social services.
His parents had been referred to local services after one of their other children was admitted to intensive care, having fallen down the stairs at home.
A number of unexplained injuries were noted which were not consistent with a fall, the court heard.
Following the assessment in March, Beni was allowed to go home with his parents, with no follow-up appointment deemed necessary.