Tuesday, 31 Mar 2020

Mum who found 'perfect' son, 3, dead in bath convicted of child neglect

A ‘perfect’ three-year-old boy was found dead in the bathtub after his mum left him to fold washing.

Aayan Ishaq was rushed to hospital after being discovered face down in the water at his Longsight, Manchester, home by his mother Shahrish Idris, aged 28.

She said she had left him playing in the tub for ’10 to 15 minutes’.

The single mother was convicted for child neglect after leaving him unattended.

However, it could not be determined exactly how the young boy died, with his cause of death described as ‘unascertained’ in a post-mortem examination.

Judge David Stockdale said Ms Idris ‘did not harm Aayan’ and ‘did not cause his death’, but was guilty of ‘cruelty’ and ‘putting him at risk’.

A second charge related to an incident in which Aayan ate three of his mother’s anti-depressant tablets after she left him sitting on a kitchen worktop for around three minutes.

Ms Idris told an inquest how her son had spent most of the day of his death playing outside and requested a bath afterwards so he could play with his toys.

She said she thought the water was up to his chest and she waited five or 10 minutes with him before heading downstairs to get his clothes.

When Ms Idris, who wasn’t able to hear her son from the downstairs front room, returned she ‘found him lying in the bath’.

Asked how he was lying she said: ‘I am not really sure, I have tried to block that day out.’

She claimed she took him out of the bath to her bedroom and dried him on the floor, saying the phone operator asked her to do CPR ‘but I was so scared and panicked I couldn’t do it’.

When questioned on if she had carried out any other lifesaving attempts such as mouth-to-mouth she said: ‘I was too scared, I couldn’t.’

She added that, at one point, she unplugged the bath and let the water drain away.

When asked why, she said: ‘I don’t know, that’s just what I thought to do.’

Paying tribute to her son she said: ‘He was a lovely boy. He had recently started at nursery, 15 hours a week. He loved going there.

‘He loved playing out. He loved playing with his nieces and nephews. He always listened to me. He was just the perfect little boy.’

When paramedics arrived at the house shortly before 11.40pm, Aayan was rushed to to the A&E in the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital.

He was pronounced dead just after 12.30am on March 27, 2017, after resuscitation attempts failed.

Two pathologists said they couldn’t rule out an unnatural death such as drowning, as the young boy was found immersed in water.

But they added that a natural death, such as a sudden cardiac arrest could also not be ruled out.

Police coroner’s officer Paul Devine stated there were no signs of injury and that any foul play was ruled out.

However, Ms Idris was interviewed under caution and then charged with two counts of child neglect which she pleaded guilty to in October 2017.

She was given a six-month prison sentence, suspended for two years.

There was some contact between the family and local children’s services around Ms Idris’ mental health and a serious case review was carried out on behalf of the safeguarding board after his death.

Valerie Charles, who compiled the report stated that there were areas for learning including better communication between agencies but said: ‘There wasn’t really anything that could have predicted or prevented it.

‘The family didn’t come to the attention of agencies frequently. Mum’s presentation was generally very positive.’

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