Blind-cord death of Leeds girl aged three

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A father desperately tried to save his young daughter’s life after finding her hanging from a blind cord.

Jonathan Middleton discovered his three-year-old daughter Evie suspended from the roller blind in her bedroom at their home in Kippax, Leeds.

Just 10 minutes earlier Evie’s mum Emily James had taken the toddler upstairs to watch a Peppa Pig DVD while the couple prepared dinner for the family, an inquest heard.

Leeds Coroner’s Court was told that the youngster, who was described as a “very happy and loving little girl”, would have been unable to cry for help or untangle herself from the blind.

Mr Middleton tried to revive Evie on the landing of the family home in Willow Grove while they waited for an ambulance.

West Yorkshire Coroner David Hinchliff said: “I can’t think of anything worse than losing a child. This is one of the most tragic accidents.”

Earlier that day Evie went with her mum to pick her older sister Laila up from school before they went shopping in Colton on January 27.

The hearing was told that they arrived home at around 5pm and Evie repeatedly asked her mum if she could go to her bedroom.

Around 10 minutes later her father went to collect Evie for her dinner but he discovered his daughter tangled in the cord of her blind.

Ms James tearfully told the court that it felt like she was “waiting for hours” for the ambulance to arrive at their home.

The youngster was rushed to Pinderfields Hospital by paramedics from her home at around 5.30pm and despite repeated attempts to revive Evie she was pronounced dead just before 6pm.

Following her death her parents received permission to have the youngster’s hand and foot prints before a post mortem examination was conducted.

It revealed that the cause of death was asphyxia caused by strangulation.

Recording a verdict of accidental death, West Yorkshire Coroner David Hinchliff said: “When you went to collect her you found her with a blind cord around her. How that happened I can’t say.

“I don’t know whether she had been playing with it or treating it as jewellery. She wouldn’t have known anything about it and would have been unconscious and beyond help in seconds.

“Despite all that you did and all that ambulance and hospital staff did, very sadly, that couldn’t be reversed.”

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