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10 June 2013, 22:00
The parents of a 23-month-old boy have admitted causing the child’s death after he suffered a drugs overdose at his Wolverhampton home.
Daniel Jones was found collapsed at the house he shared with his parents on Windsor Avenue on 29 May last year.
Paramedics were called to the family home, on a quiet residential street, early in the morning after Daniel could not be roused. The youngster was rushed to New Cross Hospital but he could not be saved.
Police immediately launched an investigation into the circumstances of the child’s death - and during a search of the family’s three-bedroom house they found a small cannabis factory in the loft.
Daniel’s death was initially treated as unexplained but following extensive tests it was determined that the toddler had died from a heroin overdose.
Daniel’s parents, Emma Bradburn and Simon Jones, were immediately arrested in connection with the boy’s death. They were later charged with the offence of manslaughter and appeared before Wolverhampton Magistrates Court. The trial was scheduled to begin at Wolverhampton Crown Court today, however the pair entered guilty pleas before proceedings began.
Bradburn, aged 34, admitted the charge of causing or allowing the death of her 23-year-old son, whilst the youngster’s dad, Jones, aged 30, pleaded guilty to the offence of manslaughter.
Detective Inspector John Smith, from the Wolverhampton Public Protection Unit, explained: "This is a tragic case where a young life has so needlessly been lost because of the carelessness of those who should have been there to ensure his safety.
"Officers who initially visited the scene reported finding a clean and well maintained house that looked like any ‘normal’ family home - but then upstairs we found a very different story.
"Away from the areas where people may visit, the main bedroom was untidy and strewn with drug paraphernalia − this is the room in which the family slept.
"It seems that during his short life, Daniel became accustomed to living amongst these items and, tragically, consumed a quantity of heroin that ultimately led to his death.
"We don’t know exactly how the youngster came to ingest the illegal drug - but we do know that he should never have been exposed to them in any case.
"Those who should have been caring him for him ultimately caused his untimely and tragic death."
A serious case review is underway by the Wolverhampton Safeguarding Children’s Board into the circumstances surrounding Daniel’s death.
The pair will be sentenced at Wolverhampton Crown Court in early July.