Drug addict mother convicted of fatally neglecting young asthma-suffering son

·1-min read
Hakeem Hussain, whose mother Laura Heath has been convicted of gross negligence manslaughter (Family/West Midlands Police) (Family/West Midlands Police)
Hakeem Hussain, whose mother Laura Heath has been convicted of gross negligence manslaughter (Family/West Midlands Police) (Family/West Midlands Police)

A drug addict mother has been convicted of fatally neglecting her son who died from a fatal asthma attack.

Laura Heath, 39, is facing jail for manslaughter following seven-year-old Hakeem Hussain’s death in 2017.

Prosecutors accused her of having “prioritised her addiction to heroin and crack cocaine” prior to the “needless” death of her son.

Laura Heath will be sentenced next week (West Midlands Police/PA)
Laura Heath will be sentenced next week (West Midlands Police/PA)

Jurors at Coventry Crown Court heard how she attached a foil and elastic band to her son’s inhaler and used it to smoke crack.

Police photos show his asthma pump wrapped in foil, next to “drug paraphernalia”.

Heath, formerly of Long Acre, Nechells, Birmingham, was convicted on Friday of gross negligence manslaughter of “frail” Hakeem, who died at the home of a friend where his mother had been staying.

The 40-year-old had admitted to four counts of child cruelty before the trial, including failing to provide proper medical supervision and exposing Hakeem to class A drugs.

Social services in Birmingham were aware of Hakeem before his death.

Just two days before his death, a school nurse told a meeting at a child protection conference that she feared “he could die at the weekend”.

A serious case review into all agencies’ contact with the youngster and his mother, before his death, is set to be published within weeks.

But following the trial, the head of Birmingham Children’s Trust, which took over child social services in early 2018, said there were “clear missed opportunities” in social services’ handling of the case.

Heath will be sentenced next week.

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