Boy, 3, in hospital after death flat ordeal

The youngster was found in a fifth-floor flat in the Leith area of Edinburgh after police broke down the door on Saturday.

The mother, who was found dead on the living room floor, was named locally as 33-year-old Anne-Marie McGarrity.

Her son Michael is said to have survived on crisps and fruit juice and the contents of the fridge when he could not reach the lock on the door.

When found, he was described as painfully thin and badly dehydrated, and he could barely stand.

Cathy Orr, child health commissioner at NHS Lothian, confirmed the boy was recovering at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh.

She said today: "The boy is doing well in hospital and, if all is well, will be discharged into appropriate care within a few days."

A spokesman for Lothian and Borders Police said: "Following inquiries with various agencies, officers broke into a flat in the Leith area of the city.

"Inside they found the body of a woman, and a three-year-old child. The child is currently being checked out at a local hospital. There do not appear to be any suspicious circumstances regarding the death of the woman and a post-mortem examination will be carried out."

The Daily Record newspaper said Ms McGarrity is thought to have died of natural causes.

The child's grandmother Eleanor McGarrity told the Daily Record she had alerted officers after staff at Michael's nursery became worried about him and phoned her.

She said: "Michael is a tough wee soul but I can't believe how he just got on with things by himself. It appears that he played with his Thomas the Tank Engine and went to his potty regularly.

"He was like a skeleton on Saturday night. He was very, very weak and very thin. He is still lethargic and sleepy and his speech is affected because of the dehydration. But we are confident he will make a full recovery. He is such a brave wee soul."

She said there seemed to have been "plenty of food" in the flat, such as fresh fruit, yoghurts, cheese, crisps, and cartons of Ribena and apple juice.

She added: "He was Anne-Marie's only child and she did the things mums do - she took him to the playgroup and read to him. She did not deserve this to happen, and I can't bring myself to go back to her flat at the moment.

"The police would not even let me see her to identify her. They did it through blood tests."

A spokeswoman for Edinburgh City Council said that there was no social work care order on Michael.

"However, we are working with other agencies to establish what happened and provide support for the family at this time. The child was not in our care and is not in our care now."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Voices
Homeless Veterans charity auction: Cook with Angela Hartnett and Neil Borthwick at Merchants Tavern
charity appeal
Sport
Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
boxing Exclusive: Amir Khan reveals plans to travel to Pakistan
Arts and Entertainment
Strictly finalists Simon Webbe, Caroline Flack, Mark Wright and Frankie Bridge
tvLive: Simon Webbe, Caroline Flack, Mark Wright and Frankie Bridge face-off in the final
Sport
Ched Evans in action for Sheffield United in 2012
footballRonnie Moore says 'he's served his time and the boy wants to play football'
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Finance Director

£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...

Recruitment Genius: Medico-Legal Assistant

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...

Ashdown Group: (PHP / Python) - Global Media firm

£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...

The Jenrick Group: Quality Inspector

£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...

Day In a Page

Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture