“He’s gained his angel wings” 10-month-old dies on Hopton honeymoon

Thomas Woods, who died at Hopton Holiday Park in October

Thomas Woods, who died at Hopton Holiday Park in October - Credit: Archant

The parents of a baby who died at a holiday park have described their son as 'the best thing that ever happened' to them.

Hopton Holiday Village. Picture: James Bass

Hopton Holiday Village. Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2015

Matthew and Jade Woods were on honeymoon at Hopton Holiday Park in Norfolk when their treasured 10-month-old son Thomas suffocated after slipping between a bed and a wall as he slept in the family's caravan.

Coroner Jacqueline Lake told the distraught couple at the inquest into his death: 'This was clearly an accident.'

It was the morning of October 16, the fourth day of the trip, and the Great Yarmouth family had been due to travel home that day, the inquest at Norfolk Coroner's Court heard.

'For the two weeks before we went, Thomas had been ill with a cold and a cough,' Mr Woods told the court.

Hopton Holiday Village, Hopton.Picture: James Bass

Hopton Holiday Village, Hopton.Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2015

'On the first two nights we put him to sleep in his travel cot, but he did not settle.'

To help their boy sleep on the Thursday evening, Mr and Mrs Woods pushed two single beds together, packing the gap between the wall with bedding to prevent him falling.

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The next morning at around 7.50am, Mr Woods went into Thomas' room to wake him.

'I went in to Thomas' room and saw an empty bed,' he said. 'Then I saw a hand in the side of the bed.

'I suspected he had wriggled across the bed, fallen and panicked. The paramedics arrived but could do nothing to help Tommy.

'I am just glad I got to know him, and we are all going to miss him.'

His mother, Jade, said she would treasure the memory of her son forever. 'Tommy was such a clever little boy. His smile would make my day,' she said. 'He was the best thing that ever happened to me.

'He was a mummy's boy, and every time I would go away he would cry for me until I came back.

'Suddenly he went too soon and gained his angel wing. The memories we had will never go, and will be treasured for the rest of my life.'

A police investigation was launched into the circumstances of Thomas' death after emergency services were called to the caravan park.

Det Sgt Alison McCulloch, of Norfolk Police, told the court: 'At the time Thomas had a heavy cold and respiratory infection, which could have affected his breathing. It appeared he did not have the strength to free himself from the location.

'There is no evidence to suspect Jade or Matthew were neglectful in any way. Hindsight is helpful to the bereaved, and the travel cot was the best location for Thomas where he could not have slipped in to the gap.'

Sgt Jamie Hollis added Mr and Mrs Woods did not blame each other, were helpful, and keen to understand what had happened.

Mrs Lake expressed her deepest condolences to the couple before summarising.

'Thomas Woods was on holiday with his parents staying in a static caravan,' she said. 'His parents had pushed two single beds together for him to sleep in.

'A gap between the bed and the wall was packed with pillows and a duvet to prevent Thomas hurting himself should he fall out of the bed.

'Just before 8am on October 16, Thomas' father found him unresponsive in the gap between the bed and the wall.

'Police and paramedics attended the scene, where Thomas was pronounced as having died.

'Police indicated there is nothing suspicious about Thomas' death.'

Thomas' cause of death recorded by the post-mortem examination was accidental suffocation.