Inquest held into death of 11-month-old girl in Maidenhead

Shay Bottomley
11-month-old's death ruled open conclusion at inquest

Reading Town Hall

An inquest into the death of an 11-month-old girl who was found unresponsive in bed took place at Reading Town Hall on Monday.

The inquest heard Amaya Mbugua was found with her head between the mattress and her headguard at a property on Maidenhead High Street on April 26 last year.

Coroner Ian Wade QC, who was summarising a judgement from a separate court proceeding, said it was unknown how she came to be in that position.

Paramedics were first called to the property at 6.48am, during which emergency workers were required to take enhanced precautions owing to the ongoing COVID-19 situation.

The inquest heard that after parking at the top of the High Street, paramedics were met by a woman ‘screaming’ for help who was the mother of the infant.

Paramedics then discovered a friend of the mother performing compressions in the hallway of the flat before they took over.

The inquest heard paramedics were initially only able to perform chest compressions whilst awaiting the arrival of a ‘COVID car’ before defibrillators were later used.

The ambulance arrived at Wexham Park Hospital in Slough at 7.32am, but despite the ‘well-meaning and effective’ efforts to revive the baby, Amaya was never resuscitated and died at 8.13am that morning.

Traces of cannabis and cocaine were found in hair samples from Amaya, although no drugs were found in her system. The inquest was told that these were likely to be ‘historical’ traces.

Mr Wade told the inquest that deaths at such an age were ‘very uncommon but not exceptionally rare’.

The inquest heard a post-mortem found ‘no basis of suspicion of third-party involvement’ in the infant’s death, which was ruled ‘unascertained’.

Mr Wade said he could not answer ‘how’ if he did not know ‘what’ the cause was of death was, and said that due to a number of factors involved he could only rule ‘an open conclusion in all circumstances’.

Closing the inquest at just after 2pm on Monday, he extended his ‘deepest sympathies to both parents’ and added that despite the couple’s separation, they could ‘never have imagined’ for such circumstances to happen to their daughter.

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