Vile mum GUILTY of killing asthma-sufferer son, 7, left to die alone in garden while 'gasping for air'
A VILE mum who left her asthma sufferer son to die alone in the garden while "gasping for air" has today been found guilty over his death.
Laura Heath, 39, flouted medical advice and failed to keep seven-year-old Hakeem Hussain's asthma under control.
She deliberately "prioritised her addiction to heroin and crack cocaine" over her son and used his inhalers to smoke drugs.
Heath has today been found guilty of gross negligence manslaughter following a grim trial at Coventry Crown Court.
She previously admitted four counts of child cruelty.
Little Hakeem was forced to live in squalor in the months leading up to his death as drugs became Heath's "principal focus in life".
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Shocking photos of the cramped family home in Birmingham showed rubbish piled up in the "unclean" rooms that "smelled of raw smoke."
Hakeem was made to sleep on the sofa in the filthy house and his school uniform reeked of urine and cigarettes.
Shockingly, police also found Hakeem’s asthma pumps wrapped in foil next to "drug paraphernalia".
His breathing got worse "day by day" just two days before his death, a school nurse warned Hakeem could "die over the weekend".
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On November 26, 2017, Hakeem had gone outside to get air, which he would usually do if his asthma was bad.
Usually he would wake his mum and ask her to give him an inhaler but she did not "come to his aid" on this occasion.
Hakeem was tragically found lifeless and "freezing" in the garden clutching a leaf in his hand with no sign of his medication near him.
His mum called 999 at 7.37am on November 26 – around six hours after tapping was heard at a downstairs window by a nearby resident.
She told the operator: "He’s dead…my son. He’s took himself outside when we’re asleep because he’s got asthma… and he’s fell asleep… he’s dead.
"He must have woke up and took himself outside so he can…he’s got asthma…he’s fell asleep outside…he must’ve done…he didn’t wake me up."
Heath then told the operator Hakeem was "blue and stiff" before adding: "There's no saving him. He's gone."
The sobbing mum was also heard saying "He's my baby, he's my baby" in the harrowing 999 call.
After he died, high concentrations of heroin and cocaine were found in Hakeem's hair that in an adult would indicate "active use".
His lungs were also "hyper-inflated, narrowed, stiffened and inflamed as a consequence of neglect".
Prosecutor Matthew Brook said: "The defendant had a duty to ensure the welfare of her son.
"She knew that he was suffering from severe uncontrolled asthma. There was an obvious risk that Hakeem might die from such an attack if she did not manage his asthma in accordance with the medical advice she received.
"Instead, the defendant deliberately prioritised her addiction to heroin and crack cocaine and flouted the medical advice that she received that would have kept her son's asthma under control."
Heath was Hakeem's sole carer between May 2016 and November 2017 despite her drug addiction "spiralling out of control".
She engaged in sex work at her home to fund her habit and started to "neglect Hakeem's asthma and to ill-treat him."
In May 2017, the youngster was identified as a "child in need" by a social worker, it was said.
In his final months, a referral was made to Birmingham Children's Services after Hakeem recorded 59 unauthorised absences from school.
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He was also admitted to hospital three times – including in September 2017 when he suffered an "acute life-threatening asthma exacerbation".
Mr Brook said: "Tragically, although it was concluded that Hakeem was at serious risk, a decision was made not to remove him from the defendant’s care."
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