Open verdict returned at inquest into death of seven-month-old Riley Briant from Yate
AN inquest into the death of a seven-month-old baby from Yate, who was found face down in his cot, has recorded an open verdict.
Riley James Briant was pronounced dead at Bristol Children’s Hospital on May 5 this year after his father Christopher found him ‘lifeless’ when he went to check on the infant.
In a written statement to Avon Coroners’ Court, Mr Briant, a salesman at Sports Direct in Yate Shopping Centre, said other than conjunctivitis and chicken pox and a nosebleed the previous week, Riley had been a fit healthy child.
Riley had spent the morning of his death playing in his walker and bouncer and watching the family’s guinea pigs at their flat in Chargrove, said Mr Briant. His mother, Anita Marie Fowler, a student who also worked at Sports Direct, had left for work at 12.15pm.
“At 1.20pm I put him to bed,” said Mr Briant. “He seemed a bit grumpy and was ready for a sleep.
“I heard him playing with his soft caterpillar toy, which was normal for him, and after a while it went quiet so I assumed he had gone to sleep.”
Mr Briant, who said he and his girlfriend had planned the pregnancy and we were happy to be young parents, said he checked on Riley three or four times over the course of the next three-and-a-half hours.
“Anita would usually check on him every 15 minutes but I probably checked him every 30 or 45 minutes,” he said. “Each time I opened the door and took a step inside and each time he had moved slightly but I didn’t think anything of this as he often moved position when he was sleeping.
“Just after 5pm I went to check him and his face was completely down. I knew immediately something was seriously wrong.
“He was just lifeless. His face was purple. I started crying and panicked.”
Mr Briant called the child’s mother who was less than a minute from home. An ambulance crew arrived and began resuscitation and an air ambulance doctor was called in to help but Riley was pronounced dead at 5.35pm at Bristol Children’s Hospital.
The inquest at Flax Bourton Coroner’s Court on Tuesday heard the cause of death was undetermined.
Coroner Maria Voisin recorded an open verdict.
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