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Mother falsely accused of murdering son receives damages

Abby Podmore with her son Henry Photo: ITV Central News

A mother who was falsely accused of murdering her son has received an undisclosed financial settlement from West Midlands Police.

Three year-old Alfie Podmore died in his sleep two years ago from pneumonia and septicaemia.

Paramedics were called to the house in Quinton and tried their best to save the toddler, who had gone into cardiac arrest, but nothing could be done.

Afterwards, there was a police investigation into Alfie’s death and his mum, Abby Podmore, 22, was arrested.

A post mortem examination later revealed that Alfie had died of natural causes and no further action was taken against his mother.

Young Alfie Podmore Credit: Family photograph

Chief Inspector Garry Billing, from Birmingham Police’s Child Protection Unit, said: “A payment has been made to Abby Podmore; she’s accepted it is a full and final settlement and without any admission from West Midlands Police.

“Ms Podmore was arrested following her son’s death as it was deemed in the best interest of the investigation at that stage; she’s since recognised that police were acting on information available to them at the time and needed to fully investigate matters.

“It became apparent, however, the case should not be treated as a murder inquiry and she was quickly dismissed as a suspect.

“This is a truly tragic case and no amount of money can ever compensate for the death of a child."

This is a truly tragic case and no amount of money can ever compensate for the death of a child.

– Chief Inspector Garry Billing, Birmingham Police

Reacting to the news, mother Abby said: "Alfie was adored by his family and everyone whose lives he touched during his short time with us and he will never be forgotten. I'm just relieved the legal battles [...] are now over as we can finally look to begin rebuilding our lives."

Alfie was adored by his family and everyone whose lives he touched during his short time with us and he will never be forgotten.

– Abby Podmore
Abby Podmore with her son Henry Credit: ITV Central News

Tom Riis-Bristow, a medical law expert, said: "The consequences of losing Alfie so suddenly and in such tragic circumstances have had a long lasting psychological effect on Abby.

"The out-of-court settlements will be used to help fund the ongoing psychiatric care she needs and will also provide the couple with funds to help them move house, as their present home has so many painful memories which they have understandably found extremely hard to deal with.

Dental nurse, Abby, together with her partner Thomas Arnott have since gone on to have another baby named Henry who was born in November 2011.

Abby said: "It's incredibly hard knowing that Henry will never know the older brother he should have been able to grow up with. When he is older we will tell him all about Alfie and how he was such a happy little boy, a real little livewire who loved life and was always smiling."

The couple are due to get married in September 2013.

Abby, partner Thomas Arnott, and son Alfie on a family holiday Credit: Family photograph