Inquests opened following deaths of mother and her one-year-old son at Whitehaven flat

Inquests have been formally opened into the deaths of a mother and her one-year-old baby at their flat in Whitehaven.

In the wake of the deaths of Natalie Victoria Katy Kane, who was aged 27, and her son Harry, friends and family raised thousands of pounds for their funeral.

The pair’s lives were celebrated with balloons and memorial events. One friend described how “everyone is absolutely devastated” by deaths which a Cumbria police spokesman said were not being treated as suspicious.

At Cockermouth this morning, Ms Margaret Taylor, an assistant Cumbria coroner, opened inquests in the deaths of Harry and his mother.

Natalie had grown up in Maryport and been a valued member of Women Out West, a group set up to address the needs of vulnerable women.

The inquest opening heard Natalie and her son were found dead at their Wellington Row flat in Whitehaven on 30 December last year.

“Natalie’s premises were entered by police following concern that had been lodged by Women Out West who had been struggling to contact (her),” Ms Taylor noted.

Natalie was located in the living room while Harry was found in the bathroom, his identity later being confirmed by an uncle. “It appears that Natalie has died and as Harry had been unable to fend for himself he has died subsequently in the property,” said Ms Taylor as she outlined the sad brief circumstances she had been given.

Under those circumstances, added Ms Taylor, it would be necessary to hold inquests into the deaths of both Natalie and Harry. These have been adjourned to October 27 this year.

In a statement released after their deaths, Rachel Holliday and all at Women Out West said they were "absolutely heartbroken" by the news. Rachel added: "Natalie touched the hearts of so many people. I will always remember her beaming smile and her wicked sense of humour. Most of all we remember the love she had for Harry and how proud she was of him."