Joseph Lee: Parents should not sleep with their infants, coroner says after death of newborn

Lily Puckett
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Joseph Lee: Parents should not sleep with their infants, coroner says after death of newborn

A coroner has warned parents not to sleep with their infants following the death of a newborn sleeping in his father’s arms.

The Daily Mail reported on Thursday that a six-day-old infant, Joseph Lee, died while his father Kevin Stanley held him in Moretonhampstead, Devon.

Though the cause of death has yet to be determined, coroner Philip Spinney “suggested that the pair sleeping together could have been a contributing factor” in the death.

The infant’s father had consumed four ciders on the night of the death “but was not drunk," an inquest at the Exeter Coroners Court heard.

Both the father and mother, Amy Willis, who was on pain relief medication following an operation, willingly submitted to a blood test, which did not detect drug use.

"There are known risk factors of co-sleeping on the sofa and parental use, in the broadest sense of drugs/ medication and alcohol, and possibly that both new parents were exhausted,” said forensic pathologist Dr Deborah Cook.

"Laying a baby on its own on its back in a cot is the best advice."

The investigation into the infant’s death is still ongoing.