Couple tell of battle to save baby boy

A STUNNED Ipswich man today revealed how he and his wife desperately tried to revive the baby whose death is at the centre of a murder investigation.Lanercost Way resident Carl Banthorpe, 40, told how he leapt into action when his neighbour Samantha Askew ran from her home calling for help.

A STUNNED Ipswich man today revealed how he and his wife desperately tried to revive the baby whose death is at the centre of a murder investigation.

Lanercost Way resident Carl Banthorpe, 40, told how he leapt into action when his neighbour Samantha Askew ran from her home calling for help.

Ms Askew's month-old son was lying motionless in an upstairs bedroom but despite the efforts of Mr Banthorpe and his 41-year-old wife Libby, the tot was later pronounced dead at Ipswich Hospital. Police said the death was being treated as unexplained.

A 31-year-old man was arrested a short time later in London Road, Ipswich, on suspicion of murder and grievous bodily harm.

Mr Banthorpe said he had been due to travel to Romford, Essex, on Saturday morning but as he was preparing to leave at around 8.30am the baby's injured mother dashed from her front door screaming for help.

Mr Banthorpe said: “She came out of the house very distressed saying her baby couldn't breathe.

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“She looked hurt and was holding herself. She was shaken and very visibly upset.

“I ran in and got my wife and we both ran next door and went upstairs to try and help.

“The baby was in the front bedroom and was very cold and floppy. There didn't seem to be any life there at all.

“We tried to listen for a heartbeat but couldn't hear anything.”

Mrs Banthorpe administered CPR until the arrival of ambulance crews a short time later and the baby was taken to hospital.

Ms Askew, who is believed to be in her 20s and is understood to live at the property with her father Leonard, was also taken to Ipswich Hospital for treatment. Her injuries were said to be “non life-threatening”.

The arrested man remained in custody at Ipswich police station today after officers were granted more time to quiz him following an application at South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court yesterday afternoon.

They were granted until 5pm today to hold him before applying for a further extension or charging him.

A police spokesman said: “We are treating the death as unexplained at this stage and a post mortem examination will be held in due course.”

Floral tributes and messages of condolence began appearing outside Ms Askew's home yesterday. One message read: “Our thoughts are with you.” Another said: “Now you are with the angels.”

The property, as well as an area of grassland off Stoke Park Drive which backs onto the rear garden of the home, was cordoned off throughout the weekend.

Do you want to send a message of support to the family? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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