- 13-month-old Ifan George Torlop allegedly died after sleeping between his parents
- A test on Alana Bailey, Ifan’s mother, found alcohol levels exceeding the legal limit
- Police determined Ifan had no injuries and was cared for after examining the case
A 13-month-old baby in Swansea, Wales allegedly died after sleeping between his parents in their double bed last year, officials were told.
An inquest into the death of Ifan George Torlop heard the baby was “blue in color” when his parents, Alana Bailey and Samuel Torlop, were woken up by their six-year-old son on Aug. 2, 2020, the Wales Online first reported.
Bailey allegedly started “screaming” after she noticed that Ifan had “slipped down the bed and was covered by the duvet,” adding that the child “didn’t seem right.”
Samuel was performing CPR on the child when neighbors — one of whom was a nurse — headed inside the family’s home in Heol Maes y Cerrig, Loughor to try and help the infant after hearing Bailey “screaming help me, help me.'” One of the neighbors that entered the bedroom described seeing “a little boy motionless in bed.”
Paramedics arrived on the scene, but they were unable to resuscitate Ifan. Police followed after, and they were informed by the medical responders of Ifan’s death.
“[P]olice officers were deployed to the scene where a crime scene was identified and assessed. They recovered a number of exhibits and officers activated their body-worn cameras. Voluntary urine samples were supplied and two baby bottles,” South Wales Police (SWP) detective constable Ian Wozencroft told the inquest.
Officials were told Bailey had “two small glasses of wine” while Samuel had “two bottles of beer” the night before the incident. A toxicology report found alcohol levels of 81mg per 100ml in Samuel’s urine and 164mg per 100ml in Bailey’s. The legal alcohol limit in Wales is 107mg per 100ml of urine.
The inquest heard it was not unusual for the baby to sleep with his parents as he could not settle in his crib ever since coming home from Morriston Hospital in Cwmrhydyceirw, where he was admitted for two days in November 2019 due to bronchiolitis.
“The child displayed no injuries that caused any concern. Co-sleeping is known to be unsafe and we know health visitors had warned the parents about these dangers. There was no doubt that the child was cared for, clean, and brought up in a loving environment,” Wozencroft, reading a statement on behalf of SWP detective inspector Peter Collins, said.
Pathologist Deryk James told officials that while there “are risks with bed sharing,” there has been “no evidence” to support the idea that Ifan had been laid on while sharing the bed with his parents.
“He was found in the middle of the bed but under the duvet. We know sudden infant deaths are more likely to happen when a baby is too warm or in a position that’s not ideal. If you are intoxicated you are less aware of the baby’s position,” James said.
Assistant coroner for Swansea and Neath Port Talbot Aled Wyn Gruffydd, for his part, said that he could neither exclude nor prove the possibility of overlaying or an increased body temperature contributing to Ifan’s death despite the lack of evidence.
“Ifan was a fit and well boy. He was well cared for, appropriately nourished, and clean. His cause of death was unascertained and there was no evidence of overlaying. The consumption of alcohol is a risk when co-sleeping as you are less aware of your baby sleeping,” he told officials.
“This is a tragic case and the parents’ worst nightmare,” Gruffydd added.