Cornwall

Cooper Johnson-Hicks death: Paramedics 'not called for hours'

Cooper Johnson-Hicks Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Cooper Johnson-Hicks was four weeks old when he died

Emergency services were not called for more than three hours after a one-month-old baby was dropped by his father and suffered fatal head injuries, an inquest heard.

Cooper Johnson-Hicks died from the injuries sustained in St Blazey, Cornwall on 26 June 2016.

His father, Tristan Hicks, took his own life on 23 July 2016 after being questioned by police about the death.

The inquest in Truro heard the baby was under a child protection plan.

More on baby Cooper inquest and other Cornwall stories

Mr Hicks told Devon and Cornwall Police he was holding Cooper in the crook of his right arm while carrying a bottle of milk in his left hand, the inquest heard.

He said he tripped over a Moses basket that was on the floor of the living room.

"I wasn't holding him properly. I came rushing in, tripped over and he came flying out onto the floor," he told officers.

Cooper hit his head and was initially fine but "went all weird" two or three hours afterwards, the inquest heard Mr Hicks had told police.

After attempts at resuscitation by neighbours, Cooper was taken to hospital by paramedics where he died from serious head injuries.

His grandmother, Petra Hicks, gave evidence detailing how Mr Hicks had not told anybody about the incident until they were at the Royal Cornwall Hospital several hours later.

'Frightened of police'

When the coroner, Dr Emma Carlyon, asked why Mr Hicks, who had aspergers syndrome, failed to tell anyone, she said: "He was frightened. Frightened of police, social services."

The hearing heard how Cooper was under a child protection plan due to previous loud arguments that had been reported to police.

He had been staying with his grandmother in Lostwithiel overnight on 25 June.

She had returned him to Mr Hicks at about 10:00 BST the following morning, and the incident happened shortly afterwards.

His mother, Bryony Johnson, was not home at the time but returned a few minutes later.

South Western Ambulance Service told the hearing the first call for medical help was received at 13:49.

The inquest heard Cornwall Council is carrying out a review into what happened.

The inquest, which is scheduled to last for three days, continues.

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