A drug-using woman who was looking after a four-month-old baby when he died said she would ‘never intentionally hurt him’.
Alexander ‘Alex’ Masters died in October 2015 while in the care of his godmother Claire Sawyer, 41, who was a user of cocaine and illegal high M-Cat, an inquest at Lincoln Cathedral Centre heard.
Alex’s dad Michael Trotter said that, although he knew Ms Sawyer had a drug problem, he understood that she would not take drugs when looking after his son.
Mr Trotter said: ‘I knew she used M-Cat because she told me and she said she only used it on a weekend or every now and then in the week.
‘She said she would only take it when not with Alex.’
The hearing was told yesterday that Alex was found in a car seat with a bottle of milk propped beside him at around 10am on October 3.
There was milk in his lungs and the flat in Lincoln had dog urine on the floor, the hearing was told.
The inquest heard Ms Sawyer had bottle propped Alex on several occasions that day and night but said he was supervised.
Ms Sawyer, who was also on prescription drugs that made her drowsy, had been asked to look after Alex because his young mother, Chloe Masters, was suffering with severe back pain.
Ms Sawyer said: ‘When I woke, his head was leant forward. I don’t know what time it was.
‘I picked him up and he had milk coming out out his nose and mouth and I leant him forward as he was making a noise as if he was trying to get milk up.
‘I was patting his back and then I called 999. When I laid him on the floor, I noticed his lips were blue.
‘I would’ve have said he was alive at that point because he was making a noise. I panicked when I found him because I didn’t know what was happening.’
The inquest heard there may have been a delay in Ms Sawyer making the emergency call.
Ms Sawyer said she had put Alex on the sofa with her before feeding him and changing his nappy.
She then said she fell asleep holding him with the bottle, which she says she had not intended to do.
But she had earlier told an official that she found him looking unresponsive in a car seat she said he was sleeping in.
Paediatrician Dr James Bosman told the inquest: ‘The baby was in cardiac arrest.
‘She had had threats against her by the family who were on their way from Gainsborough.
‘She said she wanted to leave and kill herself. That was mixed in with hysterical crying.
‘I went to see the family waiting outside. They were hysterical. Michael and Chloe were very angry and said she [Claire] should be arrested.’
‘This was the first time she had him [Alex] on her own.’
Dr Bosman said: ‘It’s well-known bottle propping causes choking. It’s essential that whenever a baby is being fed that it is supervised.’
The inquest continues.