Inquest: Baby’s injuries remain a mystery

Christopher Erswell was admitted to Basildon Hosptial on August 3, 2010

Christopher Erswell was admitted to Basildon Hosptial on August 3, 2010

First published in News

A TEENAGER from Stanford- le-Hope, who suffered severe brain injuries as a baby died of pneumonia in 2010, an inquest heard yesterday.

Doctors found Christopher Erswell had been shaken so hard in 1993 his brain and eyes had bled, causing irreparable damage.

Essex’s Coroner’s Court heard a police investigation had looked into whether his 19-year-old nanny had been to blame.

He developed cerebral palsy, epilepsy, had severe learning disabilities and was visually impaired.

During Christopher’s 17 years, he never walked and had to be fed through a tube.

Foster parent Gillian Flack, from Stanford-le-Hope, took care of Christopher for the majority of his life until he was admitted to Basildon Hospital with vomiting on August 3, 2010.

He died on October 29 of pneumonia.

Following his death, senior Essex coroner Caroline Beasley-Murray called for a review of the police investigation, which probed how he sustained his brain injuries while living with his parents in Bishop Stortford, Hertfordshire, in 1993.

In that year, investigating officer Alan Postawa, from Hertfordshire Police, tried to uncover how Christopher had sustained brain damage, but no charges were ever brought forward.

He came out of retirement to carry out the review to see if medical advances could uncover any more evidence.

He reported: “The view of the Crown Prosecution Service was that there was reasonable inference that the injuries were caused by some person, but they couldn’t ascertain who that was.

“That evidence falls short of the prosecution.”

Mrs Beasley-Murray recorded a narrative verdict on Tuesday.

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