Three-month-old baby overheated and suffocated next to radiator after becoming wedged in gap between bed and wallTilly Fitzpatrick had been left on her mother's bed Her mother's boyfriend fell asleep in the loungeInquest into her death continues in London

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UPDATED:

18:08 GMT, 4 December 2012

A baby suffocated to death in a gap between her bed and a radiator, an inquest has heard.

Tilly Fitzpatrick was three months old when she got stuck and over-heated in her bedroom in Chelsea, south west London, last September.

Her mother, Louise, left Tilly and her twin sister with her then boyfriend, Timothy Clark, while she went shopping. When she tried to contact him he failed to answer the phone so she returned to the house where she found him asleep in the lounge.

Tilly Fitzpatrick died at home in these flats in Chelsea, London, after falling between a bed and a radiator

Tilly Fitzpatrick died at home in these flats in Chelsea, London, after falling between a bed and a radiator

She wept as she told West London Coroner's Court that Tilly had 'definitely been moved' from between pillows on the bed – possibly when her two-year-old son, Reilly, had gone looking for toys.

Ms Fitzpatrick said: 'He came at about 9am, or 9.30am. I had fed Tilly and winded her and I went into the living room where Tim was feeding Megan and I said “you're going to be fine aren't you” and he said “yes”.

'Tilly was in the bed in the master bedroom. I'd put a pillow to the left and one to the right of her so she couldn't move.'

She went out shopping with her son Jaden but became alarmed when at 11.30am, Mr Clark stopped answering her calls, and returned home just before 2pm.

Sobbing, Ms Fitzpatrick added: 'When I went into the block I just had this gut feeling that something was wrong and I grabbed Jaden and ran up the stairs.

'I was knocking at the door for what felt like forever. When he opened the door, I could tell that he had just woken up.

'When I looked in the bedroom I couldn't see Tilly at all, and by this time I was shouting at him “Where's Tilly”.

'When I went back into the bedroom I just saw a pink vest and then saw her down the side of the bed.

'I was just screaming and before I knew it Tim was telling me how to resuscitate her from what they were telling him on the phone, and then the next thing I remember is my dad coming in.'

aWest London Coroner's Court, pictured, heard that Tilly's mother, Louise, discovered her body after returning from a shopping trip

West London Coroner's Court, pictured, heard that Tilly's mother, Louise, discovered her body after returning from a shopping trip

Paramedics rushed the baby to hospital where she was briefly revived before being pronounced dead.

Ms Fitzpatrick told the inquest: 'She was definitely moved. There is no way she could have moved from where I left her, she was only three months old.

'After she died I thought about this all the time. How did she get there I don't know what happened but I don't think Tim hurt her – there's no possible way.

'I believe that if she hadn't got down the side of the bed she would still be here.'

Mr Clark told the inquest he had last checked on Tilly at about 1pm, but then he fell asleep while feeding her twin sister in the living room and watching cartoons with his two-year-old son Reilly.

He said: 'There's no way she could have moved from between the pillows.

'Reilly was two at the time and the door to the bedroom was a little bit open so I could hear her [Tilly].

'He goes in there sometimes to get his toys so he might have gone in there.'

A post-mortem revealed Tilly had been starved of oxygen and must have lain face down for up to an hour after her death.

The inquest continues.