Crime | Trending

Mother Taken To Court After Sleeping Intoxicated Beside Her Baby And "Rolling Onto Her"

Daily Mail

We've all made mistakes, but some mistakes we can't go back in time and fix.

Our children are the most precious things we have in our lives. We make sacrifices for them so that they can have lives that are better or just as good as our own.

The choices that we make have a lasting impact on them. Sometimes, it takes only one mistake to shatter their world - and yours.

No one knows that better than Clare Clifford.

A Mother's Nightmare

The 35-year-old woke up one morning next to her unresponsive seven-month-old baby girl.

She believes that she placed her daughter, Charlotte, in an "unsafe sleeping position" while she passed out on her bed intoxicated.

Charlotte was rushed to a UK hospital where she found not breathing, and doctors were unable to save her life.

An inquest into the baby girl's death heard that Clare and her husband were drinking in their home until midnight.

Clare said she's always "in control," and would have woken up if she had rolled onto her daughter.

“In my heart of hearts I know I didn’t roll onto Charlotte. I just wouldn’t. I’m such a light sleeper and she was a very vocal baby.”

But the doctor begs to differ.

In a report, the doctor stated that Charlotte's death "caused by overlaying remained a possibility that could not be excluded."

However, pathologist Michael Parsons told the court that there was "no specific post-mortem finding confirming death as a result of overlaying."

Clare's Evidence

Clare's statement read that she "used to drink moderately" and that she was always "in control of [herself] at all times."

She also wrote that she was never told not to sleep with her children, but was aware of the risks.

According to the Daily Mirror, she told the court that she had "slept with Charlotte in the bed with her back to the wall while arm-in-arm to prevent the baby being caught in pillows or falling out of bed."

Strangely, she also was unaware that she could be criminally charged for her actions.

"I’m always going to be wondering if I didn’t have her in bed that night - I’ll wonder that for the rest of my life," she said.

"It's Obvious They Were Loving Parents"

Clare said that after Charlotte's death, which happened in summer 2017, her life has been "hell."

Detective Inspector Phil Jackson, of West Yorkshire Police, told the court that there was no signs of child neglect.

"There were pictures and cards relating to her christening with lovely comments from mum and dad looking forward to a loving life together and watching her grow up. We initially investigated Charlotte's death as we have to do. But there was nothing to suggest asphyxiation," he said.

Living With The Blame

"We are trying to move forward and trying to put our lives together again and trying to not let the nerves of what happened with Charlotte take away the joy of Jack being a baby," Clare said.

Clare is also the mother of a six-year-old girl and recently welcomed a six-week-old boy.

Layla and Jack.Daily Mail

"It's healing having a new baby but it also brings back a lot of bittersweet memories," she said.

"I have to try and be logical and think that what happened with Charlotte was tragic - obviously I'm nervous when Jack is asleep. The nights are hard for me because I'm worrying about it happening again."

According to a Daily Mail report, Clare claims that her health visitor signed off on her drinking and co-sleeping with her newborn son.

"Jack has his last feed around midnight and then settles in his Moses basket waking again around 3/4am to feed again and won't settle on his Moses and ends up in with me," she wrote.

"I like a drink, I'm not a raging alcoholic! I suspect I'd be treated with more care if I was. I like a nice gin and a nice glass of wine. I never imagined I was in the minority," she continued.

Clare is now looking out for signs of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and has hooked her son to an alarm.

"I am still drinking and co-sleeping ... I'm an intelligent person, if I'm genuinely not allowed a couple of drinks in the early evening, they have not communicated this well and nobody has read more than me on this topic and I'm still not clear."

Do you think the baby might have died from SIDS?

[H/T: Daily Mirror / Daily Mail]

Mistakes like these are quite rare. Mothers are usually known to be overprotective. One six-year-old died shortly after doctors told her mother she was being paranoid about her daughter's bruise. Turns out, she had the right to be.

Moojan has been a writer at Shared for a year. When she's not on the lookout for viral content, she's looking at cute animal photos. Reach her at moojan@shared.com.