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Mother urged to seek medical help after newborn baby found dead in pub toilet

The Three Horse Shoes pub in Oulton, Leeds, where a newborn baby was found dead in a toilet cubicle
The Three Horse Shoes pub in Oulton, Leeds, where a newborn baby was found dead in a toilet cubicle

A senior police officer has told the mother of a newborn baby girl found dead in a pub toilet: “I’m not here to arrest you.”

Officers have made a direct appeal to the mother of the baby, which was found in a bathroom cubicle at the Three Horseshoes in Oulton, near Leeds, just before 5pm on Sunday.

At a press conference in Leeds city centre, Detective Chief Inspector James Entwistle, from West Yorkshire Police’s homicide and major inquiry team, said the information he has points to the baby being stillborn and having been born in the toilet cubicle.

Addressing the mother directly, he said: “From a police perspective I just want to be really clear.

“I’m not here to arrest you, I’m not here to arrest anyone else.”

Mr Entwistle said the evidence so far suggested the baby’s death was “a stillbirth, and a stillbirth that may have taken place within that bathroom cubicle”.

He said: “Please, get in touch with us, get in touch with our NHS colleagues and please make sure that we can get you the care you need.

Detective Chief Inspector James Entwistle, left, and Karen Sykes, from Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, made a direct appeal to the mother (Dave Higgens/PA)

“All I want to achieve is making sure that this doesn’t happen again to you or to anyone else.

“I’m here to make sure I understand what’s happened and make sure that you get the medical attention that you need.”

Paramedics were called to the pub at about 4.45pm but the baby was pronounced dead at the scene.

West Yorkshire Police have said an investigation is ongoing and stressed their “priority is to ensure the mother’s welfare”.

Earlier, Mr Entwistle said: “This is a tragic incident and we are urgently appealing for the mother of the baby girl to contact us or seek medical help as she has been through an extremely traumatic ordeal and could well need treatment herself.

“If the mother is comfortable speaking to the police, then she can do so by calling 101 or she can use LiveChat online to talk to us remotely at www.westyorkshire.police.uk/livechat

The Three Horseshoes pub in Oulton, Leeds
Paramedics were called to the Three Horseshoes pub in Oulton at about 4.45pm on Sunday but the baby was pronounced dead at the scene (Richard McCarthy/PA)

“If she doesn’t want to speak to the police, she can contact the Leeds Maternity assessment unit on 0113 3926731.

“Our inquiries into the incident remain ongoing today with NHS partners but our main priority remains the mother’s welfare and safety.”

Speaking at the press conference, Karen Sykes, head of safeguarding at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “To the mother of this baby girl – we are really concerned about your medical, physical and emotional well-being at this point in time and urgently ask you to seek some medical help and advice.

“You can either go to your GP, but if you don’t feel comfortable going to your GP, come to one of our emergency departments.”

Ms Sykes said the mother could also call 111 or go to one of the trust’s maternity assessment centres.

The pub said it was not opening on Monday.