Mother tells of her lifeless baby trapped in cot

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A DEVASTATED mother fought back her tears as she relived the horrific moment that she found her baby boy dead in his cot after becoming trapped while he slept.

Alexandra Smith said her infant son Ainslie was “sheetwhite” and felt “floppy in her arms” when she went to check on him in their home in Pitlessie, Fife, in July 2009.

A fatal accident inquiry at Cupar Sheriff Court into the infant’s death yesterday heard a harrowing account from Mrs Smith.

Ainslie, who was just eight months old at the time of his death, is said to have become trapped in a side section of his cot as he slept.

A post-mortem revealed he died of asphyxia and a mechanical obstruction of the upper airway.

Describing the moment she discovered her son, Mrs Smith said: “I saw Ainslie trapped between the mattress and the base.

“His body was wedged vertically and his back was against the slats on the side of the cot.

“I had to pull on him. It was a real effort to get him out.

“He was floppy in my arms. He was sheet-white.”

Mrs Smith told the inquiry the tragedy had come at the end of a happy family day.

She had spent time walking with Ainslie with her sister, and watching the British Lions rugby tour in South Africa on television with her husband and his parents.

Her husband, also named Ainslie, who works as a vet in Cupar, had been on his way to check on some animals on the night of his son’s death.

Following his urgent return home, both he and Mrs Smith attempted CPR before paramedics arrived to transport Ainslie to the Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy.

Efforts to revive the child at the hospital proved to be unsuccessful.

The inquiry also heard that satellite navigation equipment used by paramedics had initially directed them to the wrong cottage, an error that saw them delayed by an estimated ten minutes.

Experienced paramedic John Brooksbank, 52, said he and his colleague had arrived at a property near Ladybank, Fife, which was similar in name to that of the Smith home in Pitlessie.

The court also heard from Detective Constable David Bellingham, who was called to the cottage in the early hours of the following morning.

Asked to describe the condition of the cot, a Cosatto Stratford purchased by the Smiths a month before the death of their son, he said: “It looked new and in good condition.”

The inquiry will continue next week.