Inside 'chaotic' house where heroin addict Laura Heath left asthmatic son, 7, to die

·3-min read
The living room at the property of drug user Laura Heath was covered with junk. (SWNS)
The living room at the property of drug user Laura Heath was covered with junk. (SWNS)

These shocking pictures show the “chaotic” house of a drug addict who has been jailed for 20 years after her young son died when she used his asthma inhalers to smoke crack cocaine.

Laura Heath, 40, was jailed on Thursday after she admitted child cruelty and was convicted of gross negligence manslaughter last week.

Jurors at Coventry Crown Court heard how her son Hakeem Hussain, 7, was found dead in a garden in Nechells, Birmingham, having suffered an asthma attack.

During the trial photos were shown to the jury outlining the two cramped houses where Heath and Hakeem stayed cluttered full of rubbish.

Heath and Hakeem had moved from a property on Long Acre to a house on Cook Street with them going back and forth between the two.

Rubbish is seen strewn all over the living room. (SWNS)
Rubbish is seen strewn all over the living room. (SWNS)
Drug paraphernalia lies next to household items in the living room. (SWNS)
Drug paraphernalia lies next to household items in the living room. (SWNS)
A bedroom is covered in dirty clothes, with stains on the wallpaper. (SWNS)
A bedroom is covered in dirty clothes, with stains on the wallpaper. (SWNS)
Laura Heath admitted child cruelty and was convicted of gross negligence manslaughter last week after jurors heard how Hakeem Hussain was found dead in a garden in Nechells, Birmingham.
Laura Heath admitted child cruelty and was convicted of gross negligence manslaughter last week after jurors heard how Hakeem Hussain was found dead in a garden in Nechells, Birmingham.

Other images showed piles of bags and boxes piled inside a cot as well as other "unclean" rooms which were said to have "smelled of raw smoke”.

Passing sentence on Thursday, judge Mr Justice Dove told Heath that Hakeem’s death was the result of her “catastrophic and deplorable” parenting.

Pictures from inside the home also show drug paraphernalia lying beside television remotes, dirty packaging for Hakeem’s asthma medicine and piled up rubbish under the stairs.

Cereal boxes, litter and dirty dishes are strewn on tables, sofas and floors, while bedrooms are piled high with dirty clothing, cardboard boxes and stains on the wallpaper.

Boxes, clothes and rubbish are piled up under the stairs. (SWNS)
Boxes, clothes and rubbish are piled up under the stairs. (SWNS)
The bath is piled up with dirty clothes, while carrier bags lie on the floor. (SWNS)
The bath is piled up with dirty clothes, while carrier bags lie on the floor. (SWNS)
The kitchen is covered in dirty pots and pans, with carrier bags full of rubbish left hanging open on drawers. (SWNS)
The kitchen is covered in dirty pots and pans, with carrier bags full of rubbish left hanging open on drawers. (SWNS)

Carrier bags and clothing are pictured lying in and around the bath and the kitchen is covered in dirty pots and pans, with carrier bags full of rubbish left hanging open on drawers.

During the month-long trial, the court had heard how Hakeem's death could have been completely avoided.

He was also made to sleep on a sofa in squalid conditions, while his jumper smelled of urine and his school uniform reeked of cigarettes.

The trial was told a school nurse had warned at a child protection conference that Hakeem “could die at the weekend” just two days before his death in the early hours of 26 November, 2017.

Dirty clothes lay on a bed with no sheet, duvet or pillows. (SWNS)
Dirty clothes lay on a bed with no sheet, duvet or pillows. (SWNS)
Hakeem Hussain was found dead in the garden, having suffered an asthma attack(SWNS)
Hakeem Hussain was found dead in the garden, having suffered an asthma attack. (SWNS)
Hakeem.s inhalers were used as crack pipes. (SWNS)
Hakeem's inhalers were used as crack pipes. (SWNS)

Hakeem, who had been admitted to hospital due to asthma three times in the previous two years, is believed to have gone outside on his own as Heath deliberately “prioritised” her addiction to heroin and crack cocaine, leaving him without an inhaler.

Heath, formerly of Long Acre, Nechells, was staying over at a friend’s flat when Hakeem was found dead at 7.37am.

She later told police she had smoked three bags of heroin – two before Hakeem went to bed at 10.30pm and one afterwards, leaving her in a drug-induced sleep.

Toxicology evidence put before the court proved Hakeem had inhaled tobacco smoke in the hours before his death, having also been exposed to heroin, crack cocaine and cannabis through second-hand smoke.

Heath must serve two-thirds of her sentence before being eligible for parole.

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