Baby death: Two arrests

A police car outside the house on Rydal Avenue
A police car outside the house on Rydal Avenue
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Pair bailed after boy ‘trapped between bed and wall’

Police investigating the death of a four-week-old baby have arrested two people on suspicion of manslaughter.

Neighbours today told of their shock at seeing police cars and an ambulance outside the family home on Rydal Avenue on Boxing Day.

Officers have been ever-present outside the home since being called at around noon on Friday after paramedics found the boy, named by police as Freddie Neil, with suspicious injuries.

It is believed he was left to sleep on a bed but became trapped against the wall.

Freddie was taken to Blackpool Victoria Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Two people, a 33-year-old man and a 30-year-old woman, were arrested on suspicion of manslaughter and child neglect. They have both been bailed until June, pending further inquiries.

A police investigation into Freddie’s death is ongoing and crime scene investigators were at the house again yesterday.

One neighbour, Mark Fulcher, 33, said: “It’s an absolute tragedy – it’s no age that, four weeks.

“Your heart goes out to them. I’ve got four kids – aged one, five, 10 and 12 –and if it was one of mine I would be heartbroken.

“It is a real shame. I only found out because my daughter told me.”

Neighbours said the family, who have another child, tend to keep to themselves.

One, who asked not to be named, said Freddie’s dad was a “doting father”.

She added: “I didn’t talk to them much but I looked after their other lad a couple of times.

“All my kids were out on Boxing Day and my daughter said there’s an ambulance outside.

“Within seconds the baby was brought out –it was quite fast.

“This street is full of children so this was a big shock.”

She said the dad, who is understood to be a DJ in the area, followed his son to hospital in a friend’s car.

She added: “He’s a fantastic dad, a real doting father.”

Another neighbour described his surprise at seeing the street taken over by police vehicles.

He said: “When I came back from work there were two police cars and an ambulance on Friday.

“There have been crime scene investigators here too.

“The police have been camping out day and night outside the house – they come and go.

“We don’t know what happened. We’re just waiting for more information.”

A Lancashire Police spokesman said: “Police in Blackpool have launched an investigation into the unexplained death of a four-week-old baby following a call to an address on Rydal Avenue by the Ambulance Service on Friday at around midday.

“The baby boy was taken by ambulance to Blackpool Victoria Hospital where he was sadly pronounced dead.

“Two people, a man aged 33 and a woman aged 30, both from Blackpool, were arrested on suspicion of manslaughter and child neglect and have been bailed until June.

“The coroner has been informed and a post mortem examination to establish the cause of death will take place in due course.”

The inquest was due to take place this afternoon.