A TODDLER from Rossendale who had a fascination with water drowned on bath night while his mother was distracted, an inquest heard.
Kelly Young had only left her 21-month-old son Dragon with his sister Amelia for a short time when she returned to discover him face down in the water, Burnley Coroner’s Court was told.
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His mother was too upset to attend an inquest into the April 10 death of Dragon at his home in Stacksteads’ Booth Road – which was described as a ‘tragic accident’.
Moments after discovering Dragon in the bath, after being alerted by Amelia in a nearby bedroom, Kelly immediately asked her partner Paul Carter to call for an ambulance and raced to ask a student nurse neighbour for assistance.
But while paramedics arrived shortly afterwards, and attempts were made to resuscitate the boy in an ambulance, and on arrival at the Royal Blackburn Hospital, he was declared dead.
Kelly arrived at the hospital later, with his favourite ‘Dragon’ pyjamas to be informed of the death, the court heard.
“I dressed him in his pyjamas and told him I was sorry,” she said in a statement. An investigation was undertaken by Det Con Lianne Lyons, an officer with the public protection unit based at Waterfoot and duty detective on the night of Dragon’s death.
The inquest heard that concerns were sparked when Kelly did not initially attend the hospital with Dragon. But she later told police that she had always found it very difficult to cope when any of her children fell ill.
DC Lyons added: “I was quite happy with the explanation that was given at the time. Both the mother and father were clearly devastated.”
The court heard earlier that ‘bath’ was one of Dragon’s most-used words and he would usually look forward to bath night, where he played happily with his sister.
“She talked quite opening about how Dragon loved water whereas she had a fear of water and was wary of it,” added the detective. Home Office pathologist Dr Naomi Carter said that a number of small red marks on Dragon’s head, spotted during a post-mortem examination, may have been caused by attempts to cough while trying to expel water.
Because the bath was filled with bubbles and toys it may have posed an increased risk of the child slipping in the bath, she said in a statement, before giving the cause of death as ‘drowning’.
The inquest heard that Dragon, whose full name was Paul Felix Dragon Carter-Young, had been born with a cleft lip and his mother described him as her ‘brave boy’. He was called Dragon as he was born in the Chinese year of the Dragon.
East Lancashire coroner Richard Taylor said that, given the circumstances, the only verdict he could return was one of accidental death.