Tests on Harlow Close Babies Inconclusive

Forensic tests on the remains of four babies discovered in St Helens have yet to establish whether they were stillborn or died shortly after birth, a coroner’s court was told.

Nearly six weeks after the remains were discovered, an inquest into the infants’ deaths was opened and adjourned today during a brief hearing at St Helens Hospital.

Lynda Roberts, a coroner’s officer with Merseyside Police, told the court it was believed neither the births nor deaths of the tots had ever been registered.

She added it was believed the infants had never been given names and for “simplicity” in proceedings they would be referred to as babies one, two, three and four.

Three of the babies – the remains of which are believed to date back to the 1980s – were found in a terraced house at Harlow Close, Sutton Heath on Sunday, August 30.

The corpse of a fourth baby was found at grounds nearby a family grave in St Helens Cemetery days later.

Lynda Roberts told the court: “As a result of recent allegations made to police an investigation commenced into the death of four babies in St Helens. As part of that investigation remains of four babies were recovered.

“Apparently neither the births nor the deaths were ever registered, nor is it believed the babies were given names.”

The court was told ongoing enquiries aimed at establishing their age and the cause of death had been inconclusive.

She added: “For simplicity (at this stage) the babies will be referred to as baby 1,2, 3 and 4.

“It has not yet been established whether they were stillborn or died shortly after birth.”

St Helens Coroner Christopher Sumner adjourned the hearing and a full inquest will take place at a later date that is yet to be fixed.

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