In­quiry con­tin­ues over baby’s death

Great Southern Herald - - News - Michael Traill and Jamie Free­stone

Po­lice are still in­ves­ti­gat­ing the death of baby boy, Nathaniel Lawrence, who was al­legedly sub­jected to as­sault in Nar­ro­gin in Oc­to­ber last year.

De­pend­ing on the in­ves­ti­ga­tion’s find­ings po­lice may up­grade ag­gra­vated griev­ous bod­ily harm charges of a 25-year-old Man­durah man.

The man al­legedly caused cat­a­strophic head in­juries to Nathaniel — the six-week-old had to be taken to Nar­ro­gin Re­gional Hos­pi­tal at the time in Oc­to­ber last year.

The baby was then trans­ferred to Princess Mar­garet Hos­pi­tal be­fore later be­ing re­leased.

Homi­cide squad de­tec­tives ar­rived to the scene of the baby’s death at a Golden Bay res­i­dence in Perth’s south, on Sun­day, Septem­ber 30.

The baby’s mother Erica-Leigh Lawrence, 21, said she still felt numb over the death of Nathaniel, who died at home af­ter a se­ries of seizures, suf­fered in the weeks af­ter his first birth­day.

Ms Lawrence said Nathaniel had been in hos­pi­tal sev­eral times since his ini­tial in­jury and that doc­tors had con­cluded there was noth­ing more they could do to help the lit­tle boy.

“It was very hard, we ex­hausted our­selves to the max through the week­end mak­ing sure he was com­fort­able,” she said.

“When he did go he was sur­rounded by loved ones and it was nice to know he was not suf­fer­ing any more. He en­dured very much more than any­one could ex­pect a child to.

“He had his good days and his bad days. There wasn’t many im­prove­ments but in his own spe­cial lit­tle way he was a very spe­cial lit­tle boy, very con­tent in his own way and had a lovely per­son­al­ity.

“He did fi­nally get his first laugh in be­cause he did learn to laugh two months be­fore he passed which was quite nice.” Nathaniel was first taken to hos­pi­tal with cat­a­strophic head in­juries in Oc­to­ber last year af­ter his fa­ther called triple-0 say­ing his young son was un­re­spon­sive.

His par­ents were separated and the baby was in his fa­ther’s care in Nar­ro­gin at the time.

In the days af­ter Nathaniel was in­jured, his fam­ily were warned that he was un­likely to sur­vive be­cause of an ex­ten­sive brain bleed.

But he started breath­ing on his own and his mother was able to take him home.

His 25-year-old fa­ther was charged with caus­ing him griev­ous bod­ily harm.

Homi­cide de­tec­tives are in­ves­ti­gat­ing whether Nathaniel’s death is the re­sult of those in­juries. An au­topsy is to be per­formed in com­ing days.

Po­lice Com­mis­sioner Chris Daw­son de­scribed Nathaniel’s death as tragic.

“We are in­ves­ti­gat­ing. If there is suf­fi­cient ev­i­dence for us to lay fur­ther charges that will hap­pen,” he told 6PR ra­dio last Thurs­day.

Mr Daw­son said po­lice would con­sider the pathol­ogy re­port, in­clud­ing Nathaniel’s cause of death. A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Ms Lawrence pay for his fu­neral.

Pic­ture: 7 News

Nathaniel’s mother Erica-LeighLawrence.

Pic­ture: Erica-Leigh Lawrence

Nathaniel, pic­tured at just four months of age, was a lit­tle fighter.

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