Toddler died in freak accident - inquest
A MOTHER has spoken of her devastation after her 16-month-old son drowned in a kitchen bin she had filled with water and bleach for cleaning.Zoe Taylor, of Knodishall, near Leiston, had left a large, swing-top kitchen bin outside the back door with around 12in of bleach and water in it before tragedy struck, an inquest heard yesterday .
A MOTHER has spoken of her devastation after her 16-month-old son drowned in a kitchen bin she had filled with water and bleach for cleaning.
Zoe Taylor, of Knodishall, near Leiston, had left a large, swing-top kitchen bin outside the back door with around 12in of bleach and water in it before tragedy struck, an inquest heard yesterday .
The mother-of-three was vacuuming when one of her other young sons rushed in from the garden of the semi-detached house in School Road saying her youngest child, Robbie, was in the bin.
She told an inquest at Lowestoft Magistrates Court: “I could see his legs sticking out and I pulled him out as quickly as I could.
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“I could see that he was in a bad way and I rushed next door because I knew I would need proper help. We tried to revive him but all efforts to save him failed.
“I wish I had never filled the bin with fluid but I never dreamed such a thing could happen.”
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Robbie was taken to Ipswich Hospital by air ambulance and was pronounced dead shortly after 3pm. The tragedy happened on the afternoon of August 13.
Dennis Collinson, the coroner's officer for East Suffolk, said police carried out extensive enquiries into the death, but because Mrs Taylor's mother had knocked over the bin in frustration after the death, they had not been able to gauge how much liquid was in it.
But he did say that a Bob the Builder digger toy had been found at the bottom of the bin.
“It is possible he was leaning into the bin, lost his balance, went in head first and it being a confined space wouldn't have been able to wriggle free,” he said.
Coroner George Leguen de Lacroix, who recorded a verdict of accidental death, said Robbie seemed to be attracted to water, and added that children can die in just two inches of water.
“It seems water had been a special fascination for him, he loved having a bath which is quite unusual for children, and playing in puddles. It's very easy to be wise after the event, but Mrs Taylor could not have anticipated what would happen,” he said.
“It could be Robbie dropped a toy into the bin and was trying to rescue it or was playing with it in the water and was standing on the back door steps in order to lean into the bin.
“Children have no real appreciation of danger. That's the reason why they should be supervised but young children can move very quickly out of sight.”
He added that the death of a child was a tragedy in whatever circumstances, particularly to the immediate family and friends and that there was absolutely no evidence of any child abuse, any intervention by a third party or physical injuries.
“Robbie was a healthy, well-fed and energetic child,” he said.
Nevertheless, Robbie's father, Neil Taylor, had written to Suffolk County Council Social Services with concerns about his son 19 days before his death.
However, the letter from Mr Taylor, who is currently serving a five-year jail sentence for robbery, was misdirected at first and arrived at the correct address on August 5 but remained in the department due to an administrative error, which the social services has now apologised for.
Mr Taylor, who was given special permission to attend his son's funeral in handcuffs, was put on medication after Robbie's death to help him cope.
Sorina Cendea, a social worker who attended the inquest, said they were working closely with the family.
“The family was not known to us before this incident but we are monitoring the family and are offering counselling and advice to the parents,” she said.