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Claims of a cover up following the death of a Thalidomide baby born more than fifty years ago

Police have been asked to investigate a family's claim of a cover-up over medical records relating to the birth and death of a Thalidomide baby, more than fifty years ago.

Keith and Shirley Hudson have only recently discovered the last resting place of their baby boy, who was born in December 1962 with physical deformities caused by the morning sickness drug

But they were distressed they couldn't find a birth or death certificate and Mrs Hudson's GP files make no mention of the boy's birth in Bradford, or even prescription of the drug. The family, now living in East Yorkshire, has reported what they believe is a theft of medical records to West Yorkshire Police.

“This is a tragic and sad case and our hearts go out to Mr and Mrs Hudson on their on-going grief. I can confirm that all maternity records are destroyed under confidential conditions 25 years after the birth of the last child in line with Department of Health rules and the Data Protection Act.

“We acknowledge that back in the 1960s attitudes and practices within the NHS were very different and the way we care for bereaved parents has changed profoundly over the last 52 years. All staff recognise that to lose a baby - atany point in pregnancy- is traumatic.

“We ensure that parents are now given clear, sensitive and honest information about their baby’s passing so that they can remain in control and are supported in their own decisions about what happens to them and their baby.

“Parents are now encouraged to name their baby because it allows them to remember and refer to their child more easily as they grieve.

“We also have special maternity suites where parents can spend time with the baby, take family pictures, make mementos such as hand and footprints and gather together items like name bracelets, cot cards and anything else that will remind them of their child.

“We employ a specialist bereavement support midwife who can offer parents counselling or who can put them in touch with excellent organisations, such as SANDS, who offer specialist help and support.

“We know that in 2014 the NHS is a more compassionate and caring place for parents who have lost babies or whose babies are born with disabilities.

“We take comfort that we have been able to help reunite Mr and Mrs Hudson with their son’s final resting place and we mourn with them today on their sad loss all those years ago.”

– Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s chief nurse Juliette Greenwood

"We are not aware that we have been formally approached yet by Mr and Mrs Hudson about the sad death of their baby boy.

There is now a much better understanding of how to support grieving families than there was in the 1960s.

This progress does not however help Mr and Mrs Hudson and their daughter, or help them to deal with their experiences. Now that their story has been brought to our attention, we will do all we can to help the family get answers to their questions."

– Gillian Laurence, Assistant Director of Clinical Strategy (West Yorkshire) at NHS England

Murder investigation launched in Bridlington

Humberside Police have launched a murder investigation following the death of a 39 year-old Bridlington man this morning.

Murder investigation launched in Bridlington

In the early hours, police were called to a disturbance at a house on Sewerby Road and found a man with a life threatening wound. The ambulance service were in attendance but the man died as a result of his injuries at the scene. Four men have been arrested in Seaton, near Hornsea, on suspicion of murder - a 27-year-old, a 22-year-old, and a 37-year old, who are in police custody, and a 47-year-old who is currently receiving treatment at HRI for injuries sustained during the incident.


Man appears in court over Bridlington landlady murder

A man accused of murdering Bridlington landlady Bei Carter has made his first appearance at Hull Crown Court.

John Heald, 53, is charged with the murder of Bei Carter of the Morayland guest house in Bridlington on July 18. He is also charged with 10 offences of rape in South Yorkshire in July.

Mr Heald, of Foljambe Road, Rotherham, made a 15-minute appearance before Judge Jeremy Richardson, QC this morning.

The case was fast-tracked from East Riding Magistrates’ Court under the system for serious case.

Grey-haired Heald wore a blue sweat shirt and blue trousers and was watched by two G4S security guards in the dock of court four during the hearing. He left the court talking to his barrister Steve Smith.

Senior Crown advocate Phillip Evans told the court: “It is necessary to set a timetable for the advancement of this case.”

He said the Crown would disclose its case by October 10 and the defence should give notification of its witnesses by October 21. He said a plea and case management hearing would take place on October 31.

Mrs Evans said a trial date of January 27 had been suggested by the court, but the custody time limit would expire on January 25. The trial is expected to last 10 days.

Barrister Steve Smith, for Mr Heald said senior London-based counsel had been instructed to represent Mr Heald in the trial.

Police begin questioning Bei Carter murder suspect

Humberside police have confirmed they are to start questioning a man on suspicion of murdering a Bridlington landlady.

John Heald is now in custody after spending the weekend in hospital. He was arrested on Friday in Rotherham.

Hotel owner Bei Carter was found stabbed to death at her guesthouse in Bridlington.


John Heald arrested by police in Rotherham

South Yorkshire Police say a man has been arrested by officers investigating the murder of Bei Carter in Bridlington last week.

John Heald, 53, was arrested by officers from South Yorkshire Police at around 2.15pm today in the Parkgate area of Rotherham.

150 officers hunt murder suspect

More than 150 police officers, some of them armed, are now involved in the hunt for murder suspect John Heald. Heald, who detectives have described as "dangerous" is wanted for questioning about the murder of Bei Carter, a guest house landlady in Bridlington at the weekend. Humberside Police today revealed that Mrs Carter had been stabbed to death. Chris Kiddey reports.

Police search for man over guest house murder

Police investigating the murder of a woman at a guest house in Bridlington are searching for a man in connection with the incident. 53-year-old John Heald from South Yorkshire, is believed to have been staying at the hotel but has since left and police want to talk to him as a matter of urgency.

John Heald is wanted by police Credit: Humberside Police
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