Baby killed by straps on high chair

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AN 11-month-old baby was strangled by the straps of his high chair as his mother did the housework upstairs, Hull coroner's court was told yesterday.

Mathew Hastie slipped through the chair's waist strap and then caught his neck in it because his father, Glen Whittaker, had forgotten to tie the strap between the baby's legs.

On 4 June last year Mr Whittaker, a market gardener from Hull, had put Mathew in the high chair in the morning and shouted to his partner Sonia Hastie that he was going out. He returned an hour later. 'I heard Sonia knocking at the window. She had Mathew cradled in her arms, she looked very distressed,' Mr Whittaker said.

He tried to resuscitate Mathew, who was then taken to Hull Royal Infirmary and placed on a life- support machine. But his brain had been deprived of oxygen for too long, he was pronounced brain dead and the machine was switched off.

Christopher Milroy, a pathologist, gave the cause of death as asphyxiation due to compression of the neck. The Humberside coroner, Peter Gladwin, recorded a verdict of accidental death.