Laura Heath, 39 disregarded medical advice and didn’t keep youngster Hakeem Hussain’s asthma under control. Prosecutor Matthew Brook said she “prioritised her addiction to heroin and crack cocaine” over her son and used his inhalers to smoke drugs. Heath was found guilty of gross negligence manslaughter following a devastating trial at Coventry Crown Court. She also previously admitted four counts of child cruelty.
Shocking photographs of the family home revealed Hakeem was forced to live in squalor in the months leading up to his death, rubbish piled up in the “unclean” rooms that “smelled of raw smoke”.
The seven-year-old was made to sleep on the sofa and his school uniform reeked of urine and cigarettes.
But in further shocking details, police officers found his asthma pumps wrapped in foil next to “drug paraphernalia”.
Hakeem’s breathing deteriorated quickly “day by day” shortly before his tragic death, with a school nurse warning Hakeem could “die over the weekend”.
On November 26, 2017, the youngster had gone outside to get some fresh air, which was normal for him to do if his asthma was bad.
He would usually wake up Heath to ask for an inhaler but on this occasion, she did not “come to his aid”.
Hakeem was found lifeless and “freezing” in the garden with no sign of his medication.
Heath called 999 at 7.37am the same day – some six hours after tapping was heard at a downstairs window by a neighbour.
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She told the operator: “He’s dead…my son. He’s took himself outside when we’re asleep because he’s got asthma… and he’s fell asleep… he’s dead.
“He must have woke up and took himself outside so he can…he’s got asthma…he’s fell asleep outside…he must’ve done…he didn’t wake me up.”
Heath also told the operator her son “blue and stiff” before adding: “There’s no saving him. He’s gone.”
During the harrowing call, the sobbing mum was also heard saying: “He’s my baby, he’s my baby.”
Following Hakeem’s death, high concentrations of heroin and cocaine were found in his hair that in an adult would indicate “active use”.
The young boy’s lungs were also “hyper-inflated, narrowed, stiffened and inflamed as a consequence of neglect”.
Prosecutor Matthew Brook said: “The defendant had a duty to ensure the welfare of her son.
“She knew that he was suffering from severe uncontrolled asthma.
“There was an obvious risk that Hakeem might die from such an attack if she did not manage his asthma in accordance with the medical advice she received.
“Instead, the defendant deliberately prioritised her addiction to heroin and crack cocaine and flouted the medical advice that she received that would have kept her son’s asthma under control.”
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