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Parents of a baby who ignored their child’s warning signs have been convicted of neglecting their son


‘Cruel’ parents of seven-week-old baby who ignored warning signs that their child was ill in the days before he died are found guilty of neglecting their son

  • Seven-week-old Ronnie Higginson had been ill for days before his death
  • Parents Kayleigh Clarke and Michael Higginson didn’t ask for help fast enough
  • The couple were found guilty of child cruelty at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court

A baby boy’s ‘cruel’ parents have been found guilty of neglecting their son in the final days before his sudden death.

Kayleigh Clarke, 32, and Michael Higginson, 52, failed to get medical attention for seven-week-old Ronnie Higginson at their home in Stoke-on-Trent until it was too late.

The alarm was only raised when paramedics discovered Ronnie in cardiac arrest at his home in Derwent Street, Cobridge, on the evening of November 26, 2019. He died in hospital less than half an hour later.

Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court heard Ronnie had been ill four days previously.

The baby had been sniffling, getting rid of his food and having trouble breathing. His parents had been advised to seek medical attention.

Kayleigh Clarke, 32, and Michael Higginson, 52 (pictured) were both convicted of child cruelty at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court

Kayleigh Clarke, 32 (left) and Michael Higginson, 52 (right) were both convicted of child cruelty at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court

However, they didn’t until November 26, just before Ronnie died. The court accepted that the defendants did not cause Ronnie’s death, but their failure to take immediate action likely caused Ronnie unnecessary suffering or damage to his health.

Both Clarke and Higginson were convicted of child cruelty. They will be sentenced later this year.

Staffordshire Police welcomed the couple’s convictions.

Chief Detective Inspector Cheryl Hannan, of the force’s Major and Organized Crime Department, said: ‘This was a truly tragic case in which a seven-week-old baby boy died in the care of two people who should have been there to protect him.

“Our investigation revealed that medical attention did not appear to have been sought for Ronnie when he was ill.

“Our hearts go out to everyone affected by Ronnie’s death.”

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