Inquest hears of West Cornforth tot's suffocation in bed

The Northern Echo: TRAGIC ACCIDENT: Gracie Hart was pronounced dead at University Hospital of North Durham TRAGIC ACCIDENT: Gracie Hart was pronounced dead at University Hospital of North Durham

A CORONER told a grieving mother there was nobody to blame for the tragic accidental death of her 11-month-old twin girl.

Gracie Hart suffocated in her quilt while in bed at her family’s home in West Cornforth, County Durham, on October 9, last year, an inquest heard.

The youngster and her twin brother, Alfie, had gone to bed at around 5.30pm and, as was usual, she had only woken once for a bottle at around 10pm while her brother required more attention.

When mother, Tracey Sherwin, went to check on her after 11.15pm she noticed something was wrong, lifted the quilt which was covering her face and called for her partner, John, who was downstairs.

They did not have a working phone in the house so went to get help from neighbours who called 999 and one, a doctor’s receptionist, attempted to resuscitate Gracie, with emergency service guidance, until paramedics took over.

She was taken to the University Hospital of North Durham, in Durham, and pronounced dead in the early hours of the next morning.

Det Insp David Cuthbert told the hearing that Gracie had appeared fit and well earlier in the evening and there were no suspicious circumstances.

A paediatric pathologist found the cause of Gracie’s death to be suffocation in her bed cover.

Sitting at Durham Leadership Centre, in Spennymoor, today (Thursday, March 20), Coroner Andrew Tweddle recorded a verdict of accidental death.

Mr Tweddle said: “Gracie died an accidental death, there was nobody to blame, it was no one’s fault.”

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