Warning is issued to parents after tiny one-month old baby died in the arms of her mother's boyfriend when he fell asleep

  • Lyla-Rae Ayres was taken out of her cot by her mother's partner for a feed
  • Ben Price fell asleep holding her and woke up to find she'd stopped breathing
  • Baby was kept in the living room with her mother, mother's partner and his son 
  • Her mother Shannon Maund had moved Ben into their Devon home that month 

Lyla-Rae Ayres died on July 13, 2018 after her mother's partner got up to feed her in the early hours

Lyla-Rae Ayres died on July 13, 2018 after her mother's partner got up to feed her in the early hours

A one-month old baby died in the arms of her mother's partner when he fell asleep while feeding her, an inquest heard today. 

Lyla-Rae Ayres was taken out of her Moses basket by Ben Price in the early hours of to be given a feed on July 13, 2018.

But Mr Price fell asleep with Lyla-Rae in his arms and woke up to discover she had stopped breathing.

The one-month-old was 'happy and well the day before her death', except for suffering from thrush in her mouth. 

Medical experts told an inquest at Exexter Coroners' Court that they were unable to determine a reason for Lyla-Rae's death. 

Doctors said one possible cause was accidental suffocation.

Lyla-Rae's mother Shannon Maund lived with her partner Ben and his young son, in a three-bedroom house in Bideford, Devon, with her mother and five siblings.

They slept on cushions from the sofa in the lounge with Mr Price's son by them in a travel cot and Lyla-Rae in a Moses basket.

The couple met on the internet while Ms Maund was pregnant and he moved into her mother's house in July 2018 with his so, while they waited for a private rental property to become available.

The inquest heard how Ms Maund and Mr Price were both smokers, but did not smoke in the house, and had smoked a joint of cannabis the evening before her death.

The one-month-old was 'happy and well the day before her death', except for suffering from thrush in her mouth

The one-month-old was 'happy and well the day before her death', except for suffering from thrush in her mouth

Ms Maund said in a statement that she was woken by her partner Ben telling her that Lyla-Rae had stopped breathing.

She said: 'Ben was sat up in bed with Lyla-Rae laying in his arms on her back. I could see her skin colour had changed and her eyes were closed.'

In his statement, Mr Price said he was awoken by Lyla-Rae crying at between 3am to 3.40am on July 13, 2018, and took her out of her basket and gave her a feed.

He added: 'She did not want to go back to sleep. She was wide awake so I put the TV on and put her on her back in the crook of my right arm.

'She was lying between my body and inside my right arm, and Shannon was to my right. She had not woken. I had not intended to sleep with Lyla-Rae in my bed.'

When Mr Price woke up a few hours later he said Lyla-Rae was unresponsive.

He added: 'She was still in the same position and so was l, although her head had moved slightly. She felt cold and she was not breathing.'

He said he carried out CPR after calling for an ambulance but she was later pronounced dead at North Devon District Hospital.

Ms Maund said Lyla-Rae was born healthy, was bottle fed and was 'doing well.' 

Paying tribute to her after the inquest, Lyla-Rae's grandmother Emma Ayres said: 'Please be aware of the risks of co-sleeping, especially when you smoke as the risks are higher.

'We never thought something like this would happen to our family and the pain and anger of losing our beautiful angel will never go away. We will love you forever Lyla.

'She was a beautiful happy baby. She brought joy to all who knew her. I and the rest of the family miss her like crazy.'

Medical experts told an inquest at Exeter Coroners' Court (pictured) that they were unable to determine a reason for Lyla-Rae's death, but said one possible cause was accidental suffocation

Medical experts told an inquest at Exeter Coroners' Court (pictured) that they were unable to determine a reason for Lyla-Rae's death, but said one possible cause was accidental suffocation

A pediatric post-mortem examination was carried out by Dr Andrew Bamber who concluded the cause of death was unascertained.

He told the inquest he could not rule out 'risk factors' such as accidental suffocation due to overlying.

He added there was evidence of a mild viral infection, but confirmed it would not have caused her death.

Dr Bamber said: 'We are left with no definite reason why she passed away.'

Police confirmed there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding her death and no evidence of neglect was found.

Recording an open conclusion, coroner Philip Spinney said: 'It simply means the evidence does not fully explain how Lyla-Rae came about her death.'

One-month old baby died in the arms of her mother's boyfriend

The comments below have been moderated in advance.

The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline.

We are no longer accepting comments on this article.