Pair arrested after baby death

An 18-year-old mother and her 16-year-old boyfriend were tonight being interviewed by police after being arrested this morning on suspicion of murdering her baby daughter in Yarmouth.

An 18-year-old mother and her 16-year-old boyfriend were tonight being interviewed by police after being arrested this morning on suspicion of murdering her baby daughter in Yarmouth.

Police and ambulance crews were called to the St Paul's Lodge hostel for young mothers in Salisbury Road at about 2.15pm on Sunday following a 999 call reporting that an 11-month-old child was unconscious.

An ambulance and an ambulance officer in a response vehicle arrived within six minutes and took the baby to James Paget Hospital, Gorleston, administering emergency treatment en route. She died at the hospital shortly after arrival.

A post mortem examination carried out on Tuesday by a Home Office pathologist at Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, revealed she had died as a result of head injuries.

As a result of initial concerns, an investigation was started by Det Insp Andy Guy, from Norfolk Police's major incidents team.

The hostel is run by the GFS Platform, a national support charity for young women, which tonight confirmed it was carrying out its own investigation.

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Funding and PR manager Julia Cawthorne said last night: “GFS Platform is deeply saddened by this tragic incident which is now a matter of police inquiries. We are unable to make any statement other than to say we are carrying out our own internal investigation.”

This afternoon a police car was still parked at the scene at the Northgate Street end of Salisbury Road and police tape cordoned off an area in front of the stone building.

Emma Hall, 27, who stayed in the hostel six years ago and now lives in nearby Great Northern Close, said: “I could not believe it. I think it might have happened in the room where I stayed.”

She said during the time she was staying at the hostel residents had been subject to strict rules with male visitors not allowed on the premises.

A spokesman for Norfolk County Council Social Services, which makes referrals to the hostel, along with other agencies, said: “We simply can't comment at this stage. There is an on-going police investigation into this child's tragic death, and that investigation is still in its very early stages.”

Trevor Chaplin, manager of the borough council's housing options department, said: “Until the facts are established it is too early to say whether we will be conducting our own investigation.”

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