Judge jails couple who after taking cocaine woke to find their baby had died

PUBLISHED: 09:11 21 July 2018 | UPDATED: 15:55 21 July 2018

Judge Stephen Holt.  Photo : Steve Adams

Judge Stephen Holt. Photo : Steve Adams

Copyright Archant Norfolk 2015

A judge warned parents of the dangers of sleeping with their young babies after he jailed a Sprowston couple, who after drinking and taking cocaine, woke up to find their seven-week-old son dead in their bed.

Jessica Lindsay, 30, and Shane Riley, 37, had gone to bed after drinking with friends and could not remember taking their son Lyle to bed with 
them, Norwich Crown Court heard.

However, Stephen Spence, prosecuting, said when they woke next day they found the lifeless body of their child and despite emergency services doing all they could, Lyle could not be revived.

“Lyle had been taken to bed with them and something had happened during the course of the night.”

He said Riley was honest with medical staff saying he found Lyle in their bed under the duvet instead of in his Moses basket, where he normally slept.

He said the couple were extremely upset and a post-mortem examination could find no clear conclusion for the cause of death, but there were no signs 
of injury.

Tests showed the couple had been drinking and had taken cocaine.

Lindsay and Riley, of Avocet Rise, admitted child neglect on February 4 and both were jailed for 16 months.

Judge Stephen Holt told them it was a tragic case and said the dangers of sharing a bed with small babies was well known but warned: “If you are in a state of intoxication that danger will increase.”

He said the drugs and alcohol would have impaired their ability to care for their child: “I have no doubt that you both feel deep and genuine remorse for what you did and your responsibility for the death of Lyle.”

However, he said he would be failing in his public duty if he did not jail them as they had voluntarily consumed alcohol and Class A drugs to the extent it made them incapable of looking after a seven week old baby.

Jude Durr, for Riley and Lindsay, said Lyle’s death had devastated both their lives: “This was and always will be a life-changing event, an 
event which will scar them for the rest of their lives.”

He said in regard to this tragic event their parenting skills on this occasion had fallen far below what was expected.

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