Mother arrested over death of mosque baby

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The Independent Online

The mother of a baby boy who died after being abandoned outside a mosque has been arrested in connection with his death, police said today.

The 27-year-old woman and her 29-year-old husband were held at an address in Stoke-on-Trent yesterday.

Their arrests come almost three weeks after the baby was found on steps outside a mosque in Beresford Street in the Shelton area of Stoke-on-Trent, with a note asking for help to bury him. He died later in hospital.

Chief Inspector Wayne Jones, from Staffordshire Police, said: "From the outset of this investigation our primary concern has been to find mum and assess her health and well-being and give her the support she requires. These needs will now be met.

"Once these needs have been addressed, detectives will begin to make sensitive inquiries into how the baby came to be left outside the mosque."

He added: "We have made a number of appeals for information regarding this incident and have received a good response from members of the public, with many issues raised and looked into by officers.

"Thank you to all of those people who have come forward, and also to the media for their help in this inquiry so far."

The newborn baby is thought to have lain undiscovered for at least four hours after being placed on the steps of the Islamic centre on March 6.

A post mortem examination failed to ascertain a cause of death and further tests are under way.

Staffordshire Police, whose handling of the incident is being investigated by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), said the baby was found in a carrier bag which contained £20 and a note which said "Please help bury him" and an Arabic word for thank you.

The IPCC has launched an independent inquiry into the initial police response to the discovery of the baby, who was not taken to hospital until almost an hour after he was found.