Boy, 7, found dead in garden without his asthma inhalers as addict mum ‘prioritised drugs and ignored doctors advice’

A HEROIN-addict mum left her asthma sufferer son to die in the garden without his inhaler after “prioritising” drugs, a court heard.

Laura Heath, 39, flouted medical advice and failed to keep seven-year-old Hakeem Hussain’s asthma under control, it is said.

Hakeem was found dead in a garden

Hakeem was found dead in a gardenCredit: BPM

Coventry Crown Court heard the mum instead deliberately “prioritised her addiction to heroin and crack cocaine” as it became her “principal focus in life”.

Jurors were told Heath had got into the same bed as Hakeem on November 26, 2017, after smoking heroin in the living room.

At some stage the youngster went outside, which the court heard he would usually do to get air if his asthma was bad.

Usually he would wake his mum and ask her to give him an inhaler but she did not “come to his aid” on this occasion, it was said.

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Hakeem was tragically found lifeless and “freezing” in the garden clutching a leaf in his hand with no sign of his medication near him.

His mum called 999 at 7.37am on November 26 – around six hours after tapping was heard at a downstairs window by a nearby resident.

After he died, high concentrations of heroin and cocaine were found in Hakeem’s hair that in an adult would indicate “active use”, jurors heard.

Prosecutor Matthew Brook said: “The defendant had a duty to ensure the welfare of her son.

“She knew that he was suffering from severe uncontrolled asthma. There was an obvious risk that Hakeem might die from such an attack if she did not manage his asthma in accordance with the medical advice she received.

“Instead, the defendant deliberately prioritised her addiction to heroin and crack cocaine and flouted the medical advice that she received that would have kept her son’s asthma under control.”

Jurors were told Heath denies manslaughter but has admitted four counts of child cruelty – including failing to provide proper medical supervision and exposing Hakeem to class A drugs.

She was Hakeem’s sole carer between May 2016 and November 2017 despite her drug addiction allegedly “spiralling out of control”.

The court was told she engaged in sex work at her home to fund her habit and started to “neglect Hakeem’s asthma and to ill-treat him.”

In May 2017, the youngster was identified as a “child in need” by a social worker, it was said.

In his final months, a referral was made to Birmingham Children’s Services after Hakeem recorded 59 unauthorised absences from school.

He was also admitted to hospital three times – including in September 2017 when he suffered an “acute life-threatening asthma exacerbation”.

Jurors heard how just two days before he died, a school nurse warned Hakeem could “die over the weekend” and asked for him to be removed from Heath’s care.

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The prosecutor said: “Tragically, although it was concluded that Hakeem was at serious risk, a decision was made not to remove him from the defendant’s care.”

The trial continues.

Laura Heath is accused of prioritising drugs over her son

Laura Heath is accused of prioritising drugs over her son


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