THE sudden death of a ‘fit and healthy’ five-year-old Sheffield boy remains shrouded in mystery following an inquest.
Youngster Blake Norie died in hospital after being found face-down on the stairs of his father’s home in Lowedges on July 24 last year.
His family - including parents Kelly Norie and Nathan Hilbert - broke down as they recalled the tragedy during the hearing at Sheffield’s Medico Legal Centre.
The inquest heard that the former Meynell Primary School pupil was staying with his dad and partner Leanne Bromley, and two younger half-sisters.
On the day, he had spent the day at his grandmother’s home playing with his younger sisters and other children while his father helped to clear the garden.
At around 9pm, Mr Hilbert - who had drunk six cans of cider that day - returned home with his three children and fell asleep.
He was awoken at midnight, when Miss Bromley returned home from the Tramlines Festival.
Miss Bromley said: “I nudged Nathan and asked why the kids weren’t in bed. I said ‘Blake’s on the stairs are you going to take him up?’. I took one of my daughters and he followed with Blake. Next thing he was screaming that Blake wasn’t breathing.”
A frantic 999 call was made and Miss Bromley attempted to resuscitate the youngster. Blake was taken to hospital by ambulance but pronounced dead at 12.56am.
Home Office pathologist, Dr Phillip Lumb, said the exact cause of death was unascertainable although he confirmed asphyxia was a factor due to tell-tale signs in an examination of his body.
Assistant Deputy Coroner Donald Coutts-Wood recorded a narrative verdict. He said: “After lengthy inquiries we are left with a perplexing situation. On the balance of probability the cause of death was asphyxia but we cannot know what caused that.”