Updates – Hakeem Hussain came to school one day appearing ‘unkept, very tired and looking unwashed’, manslaughter trial hears

A drug-addicted mum was allowed to keep custody of her young son despite a school nurse warning he could die, her manslaughter trial heard. Hakeem Hussain, aged just seven, was found dead at a home in Cook Street, Nechells in November 2017.

Coventry Crown Court heard that two days earlier, on November 24, a nurse told a child protection conference the boy was “at risk of dying” and could “die that weekend”. She called for Hakeem to be removed from Laura Heath’s care of her but-although it was concluded he was at “serious risk”-he was allowed to stay with her.

The schoolboy – who jurors were told had “severe uncontrolled asthma” – was found dead in the garden on November 26, with no sign of his medication near him. Matthew Brook, prosecuting, told the court: “The defendant deliberately prioritized her addiction to heroin and crack cocaine and floundered the medical advice she received that would have kept her son’s asthma under control.

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“Hakeem died as a result. He died alone in the early hours of the morning some time between midnight and 6am.”

Heath, 39, of no fixed address, has denied the manslaughter of her son, a Year Three pupil at Nechells E-ACT Academy.

Addressing the jury on today’s first day of the trial, Mr Brook later told them the nurse at the child protection conference “recognized Hakeem was at risk of dying”. He said the nurse called for him to be removed from Heath immediately because he “could die over the weekend” but went on: “Tragically, although it was concluded that Hakeem was at serious risk, a decision was made not to remove him from the defendant’s care.”

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