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Somerset coroner Michael Rose rues out inquest into Jonas Stadden

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: January 22, 2014

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West Somerset Coroner Michael Rose has decided not to hold an inquest into the death of four-year-old Jonas Stadden, who died from natural causes while in the care of Somerset County Council.

Jonas's parents raised concerns after their son, who had Down's syndrome, died while being looked after by foster parents. Jonas collapsed and died despite their attempts to revive him.

His parents faced an eight-week wait while a post mortem examination was carried out.

In a statement yesterday Mr Rose said the post mortem on Jonas, "who tragically died on November 24 at Musgrove Park Hospital revealed that he died of Bronchopneumonia and under part II (illness or disease not directly attributing to the death) Down's Syndrome. This is of course a natural form of death but investigations have subsequently been carried out to ascertain whether or not an earlier referral to a doctor would in the circumstances of this case, made any difference to the outcome, but I am advised that would not have done so."

Somerset County Council has said it has complete confidence in Jonas' foster carers who are experienced specialists in looking after children with disabilities.

Councillor Sam Crabb has raised concerns that councillors were not informed of Jonas's death. Peter Lewis, nationally recognised interim director of child services at the council, said the protocol for informing councillors was dependent on whether there was to be an inquiry, and police and a paediatrician who were informed of Jonas's death when it occurred investigated and found no reason for further inquiries. He is meeting Mr Crabb and fellow Liberal Democrat councillor Justine Baker today to discuss whether a review of the protocol is needed.

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3 comments

  • justindownes  |  January 22 2014, 12:29PM

    What a mess....A chief executive who has fallen out with the leader of the council, Cllr Osman, who spends the week working in Devizes. The v=chief executive has now been away for two months on £13,000 a month. The Cabinet Member for Children and Families, Cllr Nicholson , gets her Department slammed by Ofsted, yet refuses to resign and lose her £30k a year allowance. Even officers laugh at her! The only thing Somerset CC suffers from is an absence of leadership!

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  • justindownes  |  January 22 2014, 12:24PM

    Well put bennydoneit

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  • Bennydoneit  |  January 22 2014, 12:21PM

    Experienced foster carers? So experienced they missed Bronchopneumonia and under part II (illness or disease not directly attributing to the death) Down's Syndrome. You cannot die from down syndrome. Coming from the child protection services that ofsted reported as unsatisfactory last year.

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