Baby who was forced to sleep in car with homeless parents in Bournemouth dies

Baby Donald was two months old and had been born prematurely at Poole Hospital 

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A baby who had been forced to sleep in a car with his homeless parents has died.

The baby’s parents are said to be “in a very dark place” with nothing to live for, according to Claire Matthews, who runs the Hope for Food soup kitchen in Bournemouth and who befriended Donald’s parents.

Matthews, who has offered to pay for the baby’s funeral, told the Bournemouth Daily Echo the baby’s parents are “grief-stricken”.

The cause of death is not yet known.

Baby Donald was delivered by emergency caesarean section two months ago after his mother, known only as Jane, was rushed to Poole Hospital suffering from pre-eclampsia and kidney problems, the Bournemouth echo reported.

Jane and her partner had been living in Kent before baby Donald was born, but reportedly left the area due to an ex-partner. The pair, who were claiming benefits, moved to Bournemouth but said they found it difficult to rent as they did not have enough money for a deposit.

After being evicted from the property Jane had been renting, the couple stayed in B&Bs and were forced to spend two nights in their car with baby Donald, they told the Bournemouth Daily Echo in July. They said at the time they had felt let down by the local councils.

The couple are understood to have returned to Kent where the local authority reportedly housed them in a B&B before baby Donald died.

A spokesperson for Poole Borough Council told the newspaper it had given Jane guidance and support when she contacted the council, despite her not being “eligible”.

Ben Tomlin, housing services manager, Borough of Poole, told the newspaper: “Borough of Poole was contacted by the mother and though she was not eligible, she was provided with as much support and guidance as possible.

“She last approached us in Mar and hadn’t returned to Poole for help after her baby was born. Our deepest sympathies are with her at this time.”