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Thursday, 29 September 2011

Wrongful Arrest Robbed Me Of Chance To Grieve For 3-Year-Old Son, Says Mum

A grieving mother has told of her agony when she was wrongly arrested on suspicion of murder after her three-year-old son died of a chest infection.

Alfie died of a chest infection aged three.

Abby Podmore says she was robbed of the chance to say goodbye.

Abby Podmore described how her ‘horrifying’ ordeal had robbed her of the chance to grieve for Alfie, who passed away in his sleep.

An investigation has now been launched by the Independent Police Complaints Committee.

The 20-year-old dental nurse has also received an apology from the hospital which mistakenly sent Alfie home after failing to spot the serious lung infection that killed him.

Ms Podmore told an inquest: ‘I couldn’t believe what was happening – my son had just died and I was being treated like a criminal. Looking back, I feel like I was robbed of a chance to say goodbye to Alfie.

‘I wanted to be with his body, just wanted to be with him.’

The boy was taken ill at nursery on February 2 and seen at Birmingham Children’s Hospital the following day but was discharged after medics said he was only suffering from a gastric virus.

They prescribed antacid medication rather than antibiotics that might have saved him from an ‘aggressive’ bacterial infection of pneumonia.

Alfie died at home on February 6 despite his mother’s attempts to revive him.

But when an ambulance arrived, it was joined by 15 police officers in two riot vans to detain Ms Podmore and her partner.

At Birmingham coroners’ court, Judge Aidan Cotter condemned police for the way in which they showed ‘no compassion’ and that, in her shoes, he ‘probably would have gone round and thumped a police officer’.

Det Insp Moira Blackburn said police arrested Ms Podmore after a neighbour falsely claimed the mother and her partner had been heard arguing.

Recording a narrative verdict, Mr Cotter said Alfie died as a result of failings by the hospital – and that doctors had made a clinical misjudgment.

Hospital bosses accepted liability and apologised to Ms Podmore, insisting lessons had been learnt.

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