Boy, 7, died from asthma attack as junkie mum accused of neglecting his condition


A court heard Hakeem Hussain, 7, died from acute exacerbation of asthma after being fatally neglected by his mum Laura Heath, 39, who allegedly failed to manage his medical condition.

Seven-year-old Hakeem Hussain was found dead in the garden

A fatal asthma attack which killed a seven-year-old boy whose condition was allegedly neglected by his drug-addicted mum may have been triggered by dust mites in his squalid home, a court heard.

Hakeem Hussain was found dead outside his home in Nechells, Birmingham in near freezing conditions on November 26, 2017.

A court heard he died from acute exacerbation of asthma after being fatally neglected by his mum Laura Heath, 39, who allegedly failed to manage his medical condition.

She also used his inhaler to smoke heroin and crack cocaine and his exposure to the class A drugs left his breathing getting worse “day by day”, jurors were told.







A doctor told the court how the untidy living conditions may have acted as a trigger for Hakeem’s asthma
(

Image:

West Midlands Police/SWNS)

Heath has admitted four counts of child cruelty but has gone on trial accused of manslaughter at Coventry Crown Court.

The jury were previously shown photographs of the squalid rooms Heath and Hakeem lived in, which were cluttered full of rubbish.

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.”

Today a doctor told the court how the untidy living conditions may have acted as a trigger for Hakeem’s asthma.

Consultant respiratory pediatrician Dr Martin Samuels said: “At that age it would certainly be the carer who would be responsible to ensure he took his medication regularly.

“If an environment is very untidy it is unlikely that it is not cleaned well or regularly, and that will have high dust mite counts – a trigger for many people with asthma.







Heath used her son’s inhaler to smoke heroin and crack cocaine, jurors were told.
(

Image:

West Midlands Police/SWNS)

“It may mean the medicine is not in a consistent environment.

Asthma is a chronic medical condition.

“The inflammation leads to a thickening of the skin that lines the tubes. It results in an excess production of mucus, of phlegm.

“The inflammation also releases chemicals in the lining of the skin that causes the muscle to spasm and become tight.

“The air passages can develop a variety of changes. They can develop a permanent thickening and a scaring process.

“This can lead to more long-standing and severe problems.

“For a person who has asthma which is untreated, it is easier for those air passages to become infected.

“It does mean they develop more acute attacks and makes them more difficult to treat.

“There’s a greater risk of death.”







Hakeem was made to sleep on the sofa, the jury were told
(

Image:

West Midlands Police/SWNS)

Dr Samuels also said he believed Hakeem’s asthma was not only manageable but that it could have even been reversed with the right treatment.

He added: “He had poorly controlled asthma. The majority of the time they can be controlled, but not always.

“There’s a very small number of children where it is difficult to control. But most times it can be controlled.

“I think it is very likely that he could have obtained good control. The lung tests from 2015 show a large amount of reversibility.

“They could be returned to a more normal state.”

Following her arrest, Heath told police that her son would go outside for some fresh air if he began struggling with his breathing.

She said she had a “funny feeling” he had gone out during the night and “fell asleep”.

The court heard how Hakeem was made to sleep on the sofa, while teachers at his primary school claimed his uniform reeked of urine and cigarettes.







The rooms of the house were described as cluttered, unclean and smelling of ‘raw smoke’ in court
(

Image:

West Midlands Police/SWNS)

He was also known to social services and was classified as “vulnerable” due to concerns about “neglect, attendance issues and his home life”.

But it was decided he should not be removed from Heath’s care in the days before his death, despite him being at a “serious risk of harm”.

Heath, of no fixed abode, 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.

The trial continues.




www.mirror.co.uk

See also  Loving dad stabbed to death when he stopped son, 15, from being attacked on bus

Related Posts

George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.