The parents of a 23-month-old boy who died from a heroin overdose were today charged with his manslaughter.
Parents Emma Bradburn, 33, and Simon Jones, 27, were arrested on Wednesday after extensive tests on Daniel’s body and hair revealed he died from an overdose of the class-A drug.
The couple appeared at Wolverhampton Magistrates Court today charged with manslaughter and causing or allowing the death of a child.
The court heard that Daniel was pronounced dead when paramedics were called to the £200,000 home the pair shared in Windsor Avenue, Wolverhampton, West Mids., at 6.15am on May 29 this year.
Roger Blezzard, prosecuting, told the court: “The allegation goes back seven months.
“Both of the defendants were living together with a small child.
“Their behaviour resulted in the child taking an overdose of heroin which has caused his death.
“Substantial evidence of exposure to other controlled drugs was also found from toxicology reports from the child’s hair.
“There is the suspicion the child had been exposed for some time to drug consumption.”
Daniel’s death was initially treated as unexplained but after a lengthy investigation his parents were charged over his death.
The pair spoke only to confirm their names and personal details during the five-minute hearing.
Bradburn, wearing a black jacket spoke only to confirm her name, age and address.
Jones, wearing a blue hoodie and jeans also spoke only to give his personal details.
Both indicated pleas of not guilty through their solicitors but did not apply for bail.
Both were remanded in custody until their next appearance at Wolverhampton Crown Court on March 7.
Meanwhile, neighbours of the couple spoke of their shock and said Daniel’s death had been “devastating”.
Anthony Baker, 67, and daughter Natalie, 38, who live next door, said they saw police arrive at the address at about 8am on Wednesday.
Mr Baker said: “It was devastating.
“He was an ordinary child. I used to have a laugh with him over the fence.
“He was just a normal happy child.”
Another neighbour added: “Daniel was a little sunbeam, his smile would light up a room.
“It’s evil, atrocious and appalling what has happened to such a beautiful little boy.”
Facebook pictures of Daniel emerged yesterday showing him grinning while sat in a child car seat.
Others show Bradburn and Jones sat on a bed cuddling the tot on their bed.
A spokesman for Wolverhampton City Council confirmed a serious case review sub-committee were meeting yesterday afternoon to consider the case.
* In June this year parents Jamie Green, 33, and Sonia Britton, 35, were jailed for a total of 13 years after their 23-month-old son Jayden-Lee Green died after being given heroin substitute methadone ‘like Calpol’.