A VILE mother was found guilty today for leaving her asthmatic kid to die alone in the yard while “gasping for oxygen.”
Laura Heath, 40, disobeyed medical advice and failed to regulate Hakeem Hussain’s asthma when he was seven years old.
She used his inhalers to smoke narcotics and purposefully “prioritised her addiction to heroin and crack cocaine” above her kid.
Following a tense trial at Coventry Crown Court, Heath was convicted guilty of gross negligence manslaughter today.
She admitted to four instances of child maltreatment in the past.
Heath’s “primary preoccupation in life” became drugs, and little Hakeem was forced to live in filth in the months preceding up to his death.
Brutal photographs of the small family home in Birmingham revealed trash stacked up in “unclean” rooms that “smelled of raw smoke.”
Hakeem was forced to sleep on the dirty couch, and his school outfit smelled like sewage and smokes.
Surprisingly, Hakeem’s asthma pumps were discovered wrapped in foil near to “drug paraphernalia” by authorities.
Just two days before his death, a school nurse informed Hakeem that his breathing was becoming worse “day by day,” and that he may “die over the weekend.”
On November 26, 2017, Hakeem went outdoors to seek some fresh air, like he did when his asthma was acute.
Normally, he would wake his mother and ask her to give him an inhaler, but this time she did not “come to his help.”
Hakeem was discovered motionless and “frozen” in the yard, holding a leaf in one hand with no indication of his medicine.
On November 26, roughly six hours after tapping was heard at a downstairs window by a close resident, his mother dialled 999.
She explained to the operator: “He’s no longer alive… my son. He went outdoors while we were sleeping since he has asthma… He’s fallen asleep… he’s dead.
“He must have awoken and gone outdoors in order to… He has asthma… He’s dozing off outside… He had to have done something… He didn’t even bother to wake me up.”
Heath then informed the operator that Hakeem was in danger “”He’s blue and rigid,” he said, before adding, “There’s no saving him.” He’s no longer here.”
During the heartbreaking 999 call, the crying mother could also be heard repeating, “He’s my kid, he’s my baby.”
High quantities of heroin and cocaine were detected in Hakeem’s hair after he died, which would imply “active usage” in an adult.
As a result of his carelessness, his lungs were “hyper-inflated, constricted, stiffened, and irritated.”
Matthew Brook, the prosecutor, said: “The defendant had a responsibility to safeguard her son’s safety.
“She was well aware that he had terrible uncontrolled asthma. If she did not treat Hakeem’s asthma according to the medical advice she got, there was a clear risk that he might die as a result of the attack.
“Instead, the defendant purposefully prioritised her heroin and crack cocaine addictions while disregarding medical advice that would have kept her son’s asthma under control.”
Despite her drug addiction “spiralling out of control,” Heath was Hakeem’s only caregiver from May 2016 to November 2017.
To support her habit, she started doing sex work at home and began to “ignore Hakeem’s asthma and mistreat him.”
A social worker designated the child as a “child in need” in May 2017, according to reports.
After recording 59 unauthorised absences from school, Hakeem was referred to Birmingham Children’s Services in his last months.
He was also brought to the hospital three times, the most recent being in September 2017 for a “acute life-threatening asthma exacerbation.”
Birmingham Children’s Trust admitted there were “obvious lost chances” in Hakeem’s death, prompting a serious case assessment.
“Hakeem was a most beautiful little boy, a great friend to many staff and children with a wicked sense of humour and an infectious giggle,” children and staff at Nechells E-Act Academy, where Hakeem was a student, said after the verdict: “Hakeem was a most beautiful little boy, a great friend to many staff and children with a wicked sense of humour and an infectious giggle.”
“He was a kind and giving spirit who excelled in many areas of the curriculum, but particularly in music and the arts.
“With his clear speaking voice and stage presence, he completely stole the show as the ‘Christmas Star’ in the year-two nativity play.”
“He performed his lines with poignancy, elegance, and humour, and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.”
“Hakeem’s death was unexpected, terrible, and avoidable,” said Detective Inspector Michelle Thurgood of West Midlands Police.
“He was a little boy who should have had a wonderful and carefree upbringing.”
“I am deeply grieved by what happened to him and the tragic circumstances surrounding his death.
“It was his mother’s responsibility to oversee the administration of his asthma medicine.
“Her life and home were chaotic, which had a negative influence on poor Hakeem.”
“My prayers are with his family, and I hope the court’s decision brings them some relief.”
On Thursday, Heath will be sentenced.