Coroner's Court of Western Australia

Inquest into the Death of Armarnie-Bree ELLIOTT

Inquest into the Death of Armarnie-Bree ELLIOTT

Delivered on :22 July 2015

Delivered at : Perth

Finding of : Coroner King

Recommendations :N/A

Orders/Rules : N/A

Suppression Order : N/A

Summary : The deceased was a two year old child who suffered Angelman syndrome, she was residing in a women’s refuge with her mother at the time of her death.

Two issues where explored at the inquest hearing, the source of the oxycodone results and clarification of the cause of death.

On the morning of 2 May 2012 the deceased and her mother visited a Salvation Army Church in Gosnells.  They then visited the sister of the deceased’s mother. The deceased remained at the house while her mother ran some errands during the day.  The deceased played with other children at the house throughout the day. The deceased appeared to be unwell throughout the day.  The deceased and her mother returned to the women’s refuge around 7pm.

That evening the deceased ate very little of her dinner, she seemed unhappy and was screaming and crying. She had shallow and rapid breaths and coughed with excessive suptum coming from her mouth.  Her mother gave her non-prescription medication, gave her a shower and placed in her cot with a bottle of milk and a dummy.  The deceased’s mother turned on a new vaporiser under the cot and the deceased settled and went to sleep, as did her mother. The deceased’s mother woke up at midnight and checked on the deceased, who was breathing heavily as was normal for her. At about 3:30am on 3 May 2012 the deceased’s mother awoke and realised the deceased was not breathing. Another  resident administered cardiopulmonary resuscitation until ambulance officers arrived. The deceased was taken to the emergency department at Swan District Hospital where resuscitation attempts continued, but the deceased could not be revived.

A forensic pathologist determined that the deceased had a severe and extensive pneumonia as well as viral infection.  Toxicological analysis detected oxycodone at a toxic level. The forensic pathologist formed the opinion that the deceased had oxycodone effect which may have contributed to her death from pneumonia.

The Coroner concluded that on the subjective evidence that was available, it strongly suggested that the deceased’s mother did not give the oxycodone to the deceased.  The Coroner noted that an assessment by the Department of Child Protection following the death and the forensic pathologist’s examination of the deceased, indicated that the deceased’s mother was a devoted, responsible mother whose life revolved around the deceased.  The Coroner concluded that the Court was unable to find to any degree of satisfaction where or how the deceased ingested the drug or where it came from.

The Coroner found the deceased died on 3 May 2012 at Swan District Hospital from pneumonia in a child with reported recent flu-like illness (multiple viral detection including adenovirus DNA and enterovirus/rhinovirus RNA – respiratory system and oxycodone effect.  The death arose by way of Open Finding.

Catch Words : Oxycodone : Open Finding

Last updated: 12-Mar-2024

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