Mother shook 4-month-old baby girl days before her Death, inquest hears

A coronial inquest into the death of a 4-month-old girl has heard her mother allegedly shook the child in the days leading up to her death.

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The mother-of-six, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, was visibly agitated as a coronial inquest into the death of her daughter commenced.

As video evidence played in court featuring police interviews with two witnesses who alleged they saw the woman shake her child, the mother exclaimed “that’s bullsh*t” and “f**k all of you” before walking out of the courtroom.

Counsel Assisting the Coroner, Chris McGorey, said the cause of death had not been conclusive, however the autopsy did not indicate the child had died as a result of being shaken.

The inquest heard the child’s uncle called paramedics to the Parramatta unit on August 17, 2014, amid reports the child wasn’t breathing.

They arrived to discover the child’s body in a bed wearing a pink jumpsuit, covered in vomit, and unresponsive.

Viriginia Boyn, the first paramedic on the scene, told the court that by the time they arrived rigor mortis had set in, indicating the child had died at least 2 to 4 hours earlier.

“On first observing the child it was quite obvious she was lifeless,” Ms Boyd said.

“I think I made a statement to the senior paramedic behind me that this child appears to have been deceased for some time.”

Complaint of ‘overcrowding’ in child’s home

On the day prior to her death, the inquest heard the child was taken to Westmead Hospital by her mother who claimed she was not eating.

After being triaged by a nurse, she was referred to a doctor at a category-three level, indicating she should be seen within 30 minutes.

However, after waiting approximately an hour, her mother took her home shortly after 2:00am.

A nurse’s report indicated the child had breathing difficulties consistent with symptoms of bronchitis, for which she was receiving treatment.

The inquest also heard of a complaint made to the NSW Department of Family and Community Services several days before the child’s death, in which the complainant alleged the child’s home was overcrowded with seven people staying in the unit, and that a young girl had been seen sleeping in a pram as her bed.

Mr McGorey told the court the mother had a difficult upbringing, and had been diagnosed with attention deficit disorder and bi-polar, but noted there was some doubt about the bi-polar diagnosis and there was no evidence of treatment for it.

The inquest continues.

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