TRIBUTES have been paid to a baby boy who died at home 'suddenly and unexpectedly' aged just six weeks.

Little Koban Leatherd-Smith died as he slept alongside his mother Chloe Smith, an inquest heard.

His mum had fed him in the early hours at her home in Haslingden – and then put him down next to her.

But when she woke again she found her son unresponsive – she called an ambulance but medics were unable to save him.

A heartbroken Ms Smith said after the inquest: "We will keep his memory alive. I was so proud to be his mum. He has an older brother, Leighton who’s four, and an older sister, Darcie-Lea who’s three. They both loved him so much.

“He was also loved by his nanna Sarah, his aunties and uncle. Even though he was only five weeks and six days old, his smile would light up any dark room. He will be in our hearts forever and always."

At a hearing into the death yesterday at Blackburn Town Hall, pathologist Dr Charles Wilson said Koban had been a healthy young boy of appropriate size and age, with no signs of disease or injury to his body.

He said: “We know that when small infants share beds with adults there is a slight increase in sudden and unexpected death.

“We don’t know this for sure but it may be that the child struggles to breathe, or their airway becomes compromised or they take in too much carbon dioxide.

“These are all theoretical and I would say that Koban’s death was unascertained.”

The baby died on October 5 2018, at home on Hillside Road, Haslingden.

Coroner Richard Taylor told the inquest that following Koban’s birth, he and Ms Smith had been sleeping downstairs, and it was only on the night of October 4 that she decided to go back upstairs to her room to sleep.

On that night, Ms Smith’s two other children had gone to bed in her room and Koban was taken upstairs after being fed, and placed in his crib.

Mr Taylor said: “He was given his bottle and put into his crib. The other children were lying across the bed.

“Chloe woke at about 12.30am to feed him and then changed his nappy and put him back to bed.

“At around 2.53am she was woken again by Koban who had a hungry cry. She fed him whilst on the bed and then winded him and put him in the bed at the right hand side of her, he was awake and lying on her arm.

“Chloe then fell back asleep but woke up again and wondered why Koban hadn’t woke for another feed and that’s when she realised something was wrong. The emergency services were called and they did what they could.”

In a statement Ms Smith said she could not remember a lot about the night. Mr Taylor said: “We can’t offer a cause of death but say that he died of unknown causes as a result of co-sleeping.”