Cheap alcohol and Declan’s death

  1. Jonathan Chick
  1. Chief Editor jonathan.chick{at}

Declan died before he reached age two. His mummified body was found in his mother's home in Renfrewshire, Scotland. His mother's murder conviction in 2011 was quashed on Appeal in 2013 on the grounds that pathologists had been unable to give a cause of death for the toddler.

Findings of a Fatal Accident Enquiry were published on 5 September 2014 ( It was revealed that Declan's mother had ‘a long history of drug and alcohol abuse’. Neighbours knew that she left the baby at home for long periods crying when she ‘visited neighbouring houses to drink’.

The primary care services had evidence of ‘regular excessive drinking’ but it seems the general practitioner was constrained in taking further action unless the patient was deemed ‘dependent’ on alcohol. …