West Midlands Police pay out to bereaved mum Abby Podmore

Abby Podmore said she was relieved the legal battle was over and she can now "grieve properly"

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A mother arrested on suspicion of murder after her son died of natural causes has accepted an undisclosed settlement from the police.

Abby Podmore, from Quinton, Birmingham, was held in police custody overnight following the death of three-year-old Alfie in February 2011.

Dental nurse Ms Podmore said she was relieved the legal battle was over and she could now "grieve properly".

West Midlands Police said it was "a truly tragic case".

'Heartbreaking'

In September 2011 an inquest heard the toddler died of a chest infection after being misdiagnosed by staff at Birmingham Children's Hospital.

The inquest heard antibiotics might have saved Alfie, but he was instead given antacid medication and died at his home on 6 February 2011.

Last year, Birmingham Children's Hospital NHS Foundation Trust paid a five figure out-of-court settlement after it admitted failings in medical care prior to Alfie's death.

Ms Podmore said her arrest had been "heartbreaking".

"I just didn't know what was going on, my head was all over the place. I just wanted to be with my son," she said.

Alfie Podmore

She said as well as being questioned her fingerprints, swabs and fingernail clippings were taken.

West Midlands Police made the payment without admitting any wrongdoing on behalf of the force.

Psychiatric care

Ch Insp Garry Billing said: "Ms Podmore was arrested following her son's death as it was deemed in the best interest of the investigation at that stage.

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

Tom Riis-Bristow, from Irwin Mitchell solicitors, which represented Ms Podmore, said the settlement would be used to fund the ongoing psychiatric care she needs.

"[It] 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," he added.

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