London

Two-year-old strangled by blind cord at Notting Hill home

A two-year-old girl died after she became tangled in a blind cord in her west London home, an inquest has heard.

Alexandra Lucy Hoegh's nanny "screamed" when she found the child in the Notting Hill home in October last year.

Her mother tried to resuscitate her while waiting for the ambulance after finding the child had turned "blue".

The coroner recorded a verdict of accidental death for Alexandra, whose father Morten Hoegh is the chairman of an oil and gas shipping company.

'Not breathing'

The nanny, Melinda De La Cruz, found the toddler with the blind cord around her neck when she went up to the child's room to wake her up in the afternoon, Westminster Coroner's Court heard.

She said: "She was in the corner by the window.

"I saw she was standing with the cord around her neck."

She ran with the child to Dana Hoegh who was chatting with a friend in the kitchen of the four-storey house.

The mother told the court that the nanny had arrived late for work and took over from her mother, Andrea, who worked as a cleaner and helped Miss De La Cruz care for the child.

Mrs Hoegh said: "A couple of minutes after that we heard a scream, then another scream.

"We went to the door of the kitchen and met Melinda with Alexandra.

"She was blue. She was not breathing.

"I ran downstairs into the street. I asked my friend Catherine to call an ambulance and started mouth-to-mouth on her on the pavement."

'Tragic death'

Alexandra's colour came back after Mrs Hoegh's resuscitation attempts, but she was pronounced dead soon after being taken to St Mary's Hospital.

Alexandra was "adept" at climbing in and out of her cot and the beaded blind cord was within her reach if she stood in her cot, the inquest heard.

Describing the incident as a "tragic and appalling death" Coroner Dr Fiona Wilcox gave the cause of death as asphyxiation caused by hanging.

She said: "Alexandra died as a result of an accidental suspension after unfortunately becoming tangled with a window blind cord next to her crib.

"I will make inquiries with the HSE to find out whether such blinds already have warnings on them with the risk of becoming entangled with children, causing such deaths."

Alexandra's father is the chairman of the Norway-based firm Hoegh LNG and is believed to have an estimated fortune of £175m.

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