Tragic baby’s parents will not face charges

Police have dropped their investigation into the death of Freddie Neil, who was found unresponsive at a home on Rydal Avenue on Boxing Day.
Police have dropped their investigation into the death of Freddie Neil, who was found unresponsive at a home on Rydal Avenue on Boxing Day.
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Police will not press charges against the parents of a baby boy who died last Christmas, it has emerged.

A pre-inquest review into the death of Freddie Neil, who was found unresponsive at a Blackpool home on Boxing Day, heard detectives have dropped their investigation.

The four-week-old’s parents, Kim and Matthew, were at Blackpool Town Hall for the hearing yesterday, when coroner Alan Wilson told them doctors had been unable to say how their son died.

A post-mortem exam found the cause of death was “unascertained”.

Police and paramedics were called to the address on Rydal Avenue at around noon on December 26 and Freddie was rushed to Blackpool Victoria Hospital, where he later died.

His parents were initially arrested on suspicion of manslaughter and neglect and subsequently bailed during the six-month investigation.

It has now emerged they were released without charge in June but the inquest has been further delayed by a separate hearing in the family court.

During yesterday’s hearing, Mr Wilson said: “The pathologists have confirmed the medical cause of death is unascertained.

“What they are being asked to do is confirm what the most likely cause of Freddie’s death was.

“The pathologists are not indicating that the medical cause of death was what we call an unnatural cause. They cannot explain what the medical cause was.”

He went on to say he had heard from the senior investigating officer, Det Insp Nick Connaughton, who confirmed Freddie’s parents would not face criminal charges.

Mr Wilson added: “The Crown Prosecution Service and police have decided there is not going to be any criminal proceedings.”

The inquest has been set for a single day in the first two weeks of December, on a date to be confirmed.

Read how The Gazette previously covered this story:

From December 2014 – Tributes at home of tragic baby

From May 2015 – Police consider charges over baby’s death