Australia

SA Coroners Inquest: Inside the house of horrors where a baby 11 weeks old died

The appalling conditions at a family home where an 11-week-old baby boy tragically died have been revealed for the first time as an investigation into the Department of Child Protection’s interactions with an ‘immature’ teenage mother prior to the newborn’s death is underway go .

Confrontational police photos and footage of the cockroach-infested home in regional South Australia, taken just hours after the small child became unresponsive in November 2018, show the entire house in a horrific state that investigators say reeked of faeces, urine and rotting food.

The floor in almost every room is covered with trash, dirty diapers, animal feces, dirty dishes, and rotting leftover food.

“There’s quite a stench of animal feces in the house,” explains a detective, coughing from the stench during a walk-through.

One of the officers recalled living conditions as the worst he had seen in 20 years when he testified at SA Coroners Court on Tuesday.

The Dire Conditions Police Officers Faced In A Home Where An 11-Week-Old Baby Tragically Died Have Been Shown For The First Time

The dire conditions police officers faced in a home where an 11-week-old baby tragically died have been shown for the first time

The kitchen is full of dirty pans on the stove, pizza leftovers, opened cans of milk powder and baby bottles with spoiled liquid that resemble curdled milk surrounded by flies.

The refrigerator was bare except for a few pizza boxes and a can of dog food, while the pantry also contained little food.

An SA coroner’s inquest, which began Tuesday, will focus on the DCP’s response leading up to the boy’s death, which received 23 reports between 2015 and 2018 about the living conditions of the baby and his older brothers and sisters. sisters.

Many of the reports predate the baby’s birth.

“It is abundantly clear that (the baby) died living in squalor in a home that put him at risk of physical and psychological harm and the department had been made aware of these children’s living conditions repeatedly,” advises coroner Sally Giles told the inquest.

“This isn’t an exercise to criticize a teen mom…but [she] was known to authorities that could have assisted and an authority that could have intervened.’

The Laundry Floor Was Covered In Clothes, Bedding, Trash, And Toilet Paper

The Laundry Floor Was Covered In Clothes, Bedding, Trash, And Toilet Paper

The laundry floor was covered in clothes, bedding, trash, and toilet paper

In The Kitchen, Opened Cans Of Milk Formula And Baby Bottles With Tainted Liquid That Appeared To Be Curdled Milk Were Surrounded By Flies

In The Kitchen, Opened Cans Of Milk Formula And Baby Bottles With Tainted Liquid That Appeared To Be Curdled Milk Were Surrounded By Flies

In the kitchen, opened cans of milk formula and baby bottles with tainted liquid that appeared to be curdled milk were surrounded by flies

Sa Detective Brevet Sergeant Kym Mayger Described The Living Conditions Of The House (Pictured) As The Worst He Had Seen In 20 Years

Sa Detective Brevet Sergeant Kym Mayger Described The Living Conditions Of The House (Pictured) As The Worst He Had Seen In 20 Years

SA Detective Brevet Sergeant Kym Mayger described the living conditions of the house (pictured) as the worst he had seen in 20 years

The newborn was sleeping on a fold-out couch with his mother and siblings at the time of his death.

An autopsy revealed that the baby had died of a respiratory infection.

Ten days before the baby died, the DCP received an urgent request for help from a national nonprofit regarding the baby’s living conditions.

During the inquest, the family’s case manager was heard to express concern after the then-18-year-old mother was repeatedly refused entry to the home to conduct welfare checks on the children.

However, a rural child protection outpost did not have the ‘capacity’ to intervene and closed the case three days later.

“The supervisor at (the department’s nationwide office) decided that the office was unable to handle the report and on November 23 she decided to close the report,” said Ms. Giles.

‘DCP took no action on the referral within that 10 day period and on the 10th day of that notification, [the boy] died.’

Some Of The Bedding In The Bedrooms Was Covered In Contaminated Feces And Vomit, An Investigation Showed On Tuesday

Some Of The Bedding In The Bedrooms Was Covered In Contaminated Feces And Vomit, An Investigation Showed On Tuesday

Some of the bedding in the bedrooms was covered in contaminated feces and vomit, an investigation showed on Tuesday

SA Police investigator Detective Brevet Sergeant Kym Mayger who visited the house hours after the baby’s death was the first witness to give evidence on Tuesday.

He told the inquest that he believed the children had been living in “disgusting misery” for months and how he questioned the mother about a visible mark on the baby that stretched from his chin to his shoulder.

She told him it was caused by one of the baby’s siblings offering him a toy and accidentally hitting him on the chin.

“I was not satisfied with her explanation. She described the injury as being in a different location,” he said.

“When I pointed out the injury to the throat and shoulder, she had no explanation.”

The court heard he suspected the injuries were a result of the baby being crushed between a bed frame.

A Judicial Inquiry Has Learned That The Child Protection Department Received 23 Reports Regarding The Living Conditions (Pictured) Of The Newborn And His Older Siblings Between 2015 And 2018

A Judicial Inquiry Has Learned That The Child Protection Department Received 23 Reports Regarding The Living Conditions (Pictured) Of The Newborn And His Older Siblings Between 2015 And 2018

A judicial inquiry has learned that the Child Protection Department received 23 reports regarding the living conditions (pictured) of the newborn and his older siblings between 2015 and 2018

Dirty Pans Were Left Covered In Grease On The Stove

Dirty Pans Were Left Covered In Grease On The Stove

The Refrigerator Contained Several Pizza Boxes And An Opened Can Of Dog Food

The Refrigerator Contained Several Pizza Boxes And An Opened Can Of Dog Food

The kitchen was filthy (left) with little food for the kids in the fridge (right) or pantry

The Kitchen Cabinets (Pictured) Were Filled With Everything But Food

The Kitchen Cabinets (Pictured) Were Filled With Everything But Food

The kitchen cabinets (pictured) were filled with everything but food

The detective added that police had no prior knowledge of the family until after the baby’s death, despite the ability to assist the DCP with welfare checks.

“There is no police presence at that address at all,” he told the court.

The baby’s mother was charged with three counts of failing to care for her children.

She was spared jail and posted a good behavior bond.

The inquest found that she has since made significant improvements in the care of her two other children.

The judicial investigation continues.

The Whole House Was In A Terrible State Where Every Room Smelled Of Feces, Urine And Rotting Food (Picture Is The Toilet And Laundry)

The Whole House Was In A Terrible State Where Every Room Smelled Of Feces, Urine And Rotting Food (Picture Is The Toilet And Laundry)

The whole house was in a terrible state where every room smelled of feces, urine and rotting food (picture is the toilet and laundry)

During The Inquest, A Non-Profit Rural Agency Was Heard Raising Concerns After Being Raised And Often Denied Entry To The Home By The Baby'S Then 18-Year-Old Mother (Pictured Is One Of The Bedrooms)

During The Inquest, A Non-Profit Rural Agency Was Heard Raising Concerns After Being Raised And Often Denied Entry To The Home By The Baby'S Then 18-Year-Old Mother (Pictured Is One Of The Bedrooms)

During the inquest, a non-profit rural agency was heard raising concerns after being raised and often denied entry to the home by the baby’s then 18-year-old mother (pictured is one of the bedrooms)

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