Baby Dies While Parents On A 24-Hour Drinking Binge

Publish Date
Thursday, 7 April 2016, 4:44PM

The parents of a month-old baby who died after they went on a 24-hour Christmas drinking binge and didn't know where he was have escaped prosecution.

Freddie Neil was found lying on the floor wedged between a wall and bed in his older brother's room and pronounced dead on arrival at hospital.

His parents Matthew Neil and Kim Smart-Neil were arrested and charged with neglect and manslaughter.

But the Crown Prosecution Service later decided to drop charges after deciding there was not enough evidence.

Details of the baby's shocking death have been revealed after a serious case review.
It found his mother and alcoholic father spent the 24 hours before his death drinking 'a large quantity of alcohol' in a pub and with friends at their home in Blackpool, Lancashire.

The mother, aged 32, last remembered attending to Freddie at around 5am and her husband, a local DJ, stayed up with the baby until around 6am when their friends left.

An inquest heard that Neil, 34, who was 'extremely tired and intoxicated', remembered taking Freddie to bed but could not say how he came to be in their other son's room.

He was woken around noon the following day - Boxing Day 2014 - by their other son crying at the stair-gate with his nappy off and excrement on the floor.

Mr Neil - who had turned down help for his alcoholism weeks earlier - changed the boy's nappy before noticing Freddie wasn't in his basket.

After searching the house, he then found him unresponsive and partially wrapped in blankets on the floor between a wall and bed in the other son's room, but neither parent could say how he got there.

The father tried CPR but the baby was pronounced dead after being taken to Blackpool Victoria Hospital.

A pathologist said she believed his death was caused largely by unsafe sleeping arrangements.

Mr Neil denied being drunk and said he remembered putting Freddie to bed in his Moses basket, but admitted he did not know how he ended up in a different room.

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