One family has finally been able to completely lay their sweet, slain infant to rest after confusion among law enforcement led to the family having three different funerals.
Leah Aldridge, 5 weeks old, died from massive brain damage on Dec. 25, 2002, according to The Sun.
The newborn had been fighting a cold and her father, Andrew Ashurst of Greater Manchester, England, woke up to calm her tears a couple days before her death, The Sun reported. When he handed the child to her mother, the infant girl was limp and having difficulty breathing.
She died just two days later. An autopsy revealed that little Leah had been shaken violently and suffered from a traumatic brain hemorrhage as a result.
Ashurst was charged with murder, but submitted a plea of manslaughter that was eventually accepted by the prosecution, according to The Sun. He served three years in prison.
Leah’s family held an initial funeral for the innocent child, but were shocked when, 15 years later, the police said they found more of her organs in their possession.
A second funeral was arranged in March 2017 after police assured the family that all of Leah’s remains had been returned. They thought that she had finally been put to rest.
They would soon find out, however, that was not the case.
“Only a few weeks ago yet more body parts were discovered by the police and the family had to go through the ordeal of a third funeral,” Parliament Member Bolton West said during British Prime Minister Theresa May’s weekly appearance before the House of Commons, according to The Sun.
He also asked that the prime minister investigate exactly what went wrong in the case.
“The death of a child is always a horrific experience for any parent, however the failures in the Greater Manchester authorities’ handling of Miss Aldridge’s case has only amplified the horror she has had to endure,” he said.
He added, “They have no confidence in Greater Manchester Police or the police and crime commissioner, the mayor of Greater Manchester that they now finally have allowed the family to lay their daughter Leah to rest.”
May expressed her condolences to the family and assured that action was being taken.
“I’m sure that (West) will have felt from the reaction from members across the House as he set out the details that we all want to express our deepest sympathies for what is a prolonged trauma they’ve had to endure as a result of the way that this has been handled,” she said.
She went on to confirm to the House of Commons that the Home Office is meeting with the Greater Manchester Police and the National Police Chiefs Council to pinpoint what exactly went wrong.
Despite the confusion and pain caused by the internal confusion among law enforcement, Leah’s family has received all of her remains and was finally able to lay her to rest.
Hopefully soon, they will be able to get some justice as well.
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