Uncle sorry for contempt in baby case

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THE uncle of a tragic baby has apologised for committing a contempt of court during the inquest into the tot’s unexplained death.

Richard Myatt, aged 38, wrote the word ‘murder’ on the mirror of the gents toilet at Doncaster Coroner’s Court, where it was seen by an angry Deputy Coroner before he delivered the inquest verdict.

But after hearing Myatt’s contrition the coroner decided to take no further action against him.

Meanwhile, the family of 10-week-old Ashley James Shaw are demanding to know why Doncaster Council did not carry out a serious case review into the baby’s death in June 2009, at a time when Doncaster social services was rocked by the scandal of other child death cases.

The inquest on Monday was told the baby, also known as AJ, died from oxygen starvation after he stopped breathing while his father, Ashley Dunnington, 18, of Howden Avenue, Skellow, was changing his nappy.

Myatt, of Coppice Road, Highfields, was summoned back to court and admitted he had written on the toilet mirror in soap.

Fred Curtis, who had recorded an open verdict, said it had ‘affected the dignity of the court’ and wondered if it was intended to influence him as well as provoking others.

Myatt told him: “Emotions were running high. We’ve had two years of pain and everything got the better of me. It was a stupid thing to do. There’ll be nothing like it again, I was just very upset.”

Mr Curtis is asking Doncaster police to monitor the situation between the families of AJ’s parents.

Another of the baby’s uncles, Colin Weston, said AJ’s case had never gone to a serious case review even though Ashley Dunnington was known to social services.

“The paperwork was done but it never went ahead. They should have done it.”

Chair of the Doncaster Safeguarding Children Board Roger Thompson said: “The Doncaster Safeguarding Children Board considered the incident at the time and concluded that no Serious Case Review was required.”