Laura Heath, 39, has gone on trial charged with manslaughter following the death of seven-year-old Hakeem Hussain in November 2017

Hakeem Hussain
Hakeem Hussain

Pictures show how a mum addicted to heroin and crack used her son's inhaler to smoke drugs before he died from a fatal asthma attack, a court heard.

Laura Heath, 39, has gone on trial charged with manslaughter following the death of seven-year-old Hakeem Hussain in November 2017.

A court heard how the youngster's body was found in near-freezing conditions in the garden of a house on Cook Street, in Nechells, Birmingham.

Two ambulances and a paramedic rushed to the scene at 7.30am on November 26, 2017 but the schoolboy could not be saved.

Drug addict Heath is accused of fatally neglecting her son which included exposing him to heroin and crack cocaine.







An inhaler tube 'crack' pipe found my police at the scene
(

Image:

West Midlands Police / SWNS)







Police claim drug taking was discovered at Heath's property
(

Image:

West Midlands Police / SWNS)

Photographs released by West Midlands Police are said to show Hakeem's asthma pumps wrapped in foil next to "drug paraphernalia".

A court heard how she would "source heroin and crack cocaine" as her "first priority in life" ahead of the welfare of her young son.

Hakeem was also made to sleep on a sofa in squalid conditions, while his jumper smelled of urine and his school uniform reeked of cigarettes, jurors were told.







The living room at Heath's home
(

Image:

West Midlands Police / SWNS)

Further photographs shown to the jury at Coventry Crown Court show two cramped houses where Heath and Hakeem stayed cluttered full of rubbish.

Heath and Hakeem had moved from a property on Long Acre to a house on Cook Street with them going back and forth between the two.

Other images show piles of bags and boxes piled inside a cot as well as other "unclean" rooms which were said to have "smelled of raw smoke."







The bedroom at Heath's home
(

Image:

West Midlands Police / SWNS)

The court heard Hakeem's breathing got worse "day by day" and the night before he was found dead he had gone outside alone to get some air.

No medication was found alongside his body and a post-mortem concluded Hakeem's cause of death was acute exacerbation of asthma.

Hakeem was also known to social services and was classed as "vulnerable" due to
concerns about "neglect, attendance issues and his home life".







The kitchen at Laura Heath's home
(

Image:

West Midlands Police / SWNS)

A child protection meeting was held two days before his death where a school nurse had warned Hakeem was at risk of dying and should be removed from his mum.

But it was decided he should not be removed from his Heath's care despite his being as a "serious risk of harm."

Friends also told the court how they witnessed Heath smoking class A drugs while Hakeem was feeling ill in the next room - just 24 hours before he died.







Hakeem’s asthma equipment was ‘used to smoke drugs’ prosecutors say
(

Image:

West Midlands Police / SWNS)

Heath, of no fixed address, denies gross negligence manslaughter.

She has admitted four counts of child cruelty relating to neglect by failing to provide him with proper medical supervision and exposing him to heroin and crack cocaine.

On the seventh day of Heath's manslaughter trial jurors were told nicotine from passive smoking was also found in Hakeem's system.

Dr Roger Malcomson, a consultant paediatric pathologist, conducted an autopsy on Hakeem on December 11, 2017 said he concluded Hakeem's cause of death was acute exacerbation of asthma.







Floral tributes at the address in Nechell, Birmingham
(

Image:

SWNS)

He said: "Asthma is an inflammatory process, it causes narrowing of the small airways and can cause difficulty breathing, wheezing or dropping dead.

"This is longstanding condition. It is always there. In some people, the inflammation can get worse suddenly, this is an acute exacerbation. This can be life threatening and can kill.

"I considered him [Hakeem} to be slim, he is slight below average weight for his age but his growth had not been stunted.







An investigation into Hakeem's death was launched by West Midlands Police
(

Image:

SWNS)

"He looked very slight for his age, hollowing of the cheeks and a big gaunt. His limbs were very thin and his hair was untidy."

Prosecutor Jonas Hankin QC asked: "During internal examination of the respiratory system, was there anything that looked abnormal from the naked eye?"

Dr Malcomson replied: "From the appearance they were hyperextended.

"Hakeem's lungs were so hyperextended the lungs overlapped the heart which is not normal.







Laura Heath, 39, has gone on trial charged with manslaughter following the death of seven-year-old Hakeem Hussain in November 2017
(

Image:

West Midlands Police / SWNS)

"The lungs were in a different position compared to that of a normal person."

Dr Robert Smith, a forensic toxicologist consultant at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, also gave evidence this morning.

After conducting a toxicology report on January 11, 2018, Dr Smith confirmed that salbutamol medication - from an inhaler - was found in Hakeem's system.







Police vehicle at the scene
(

Image:

SWNS)

Nicotine and its breakdown constituent, cotinine, was also found in Hakeem's bloodstream through "exposure to nicotine or passive smoking".

Dr Smith added: "Nicotine was present in the blood, this is from passive smoking or exposure to nicotine around 14 hours before his death.

"Sertitide, an inhaler to that contains salmeterol and fluticasone, which helps reduce inflammation, was not found.

"Hakeem had not taken the preventer inhaler for between 32 to 40 hours prior to death."

The trial continues.



Source link