Little boy's tragic plea for help revealed before he was left outside to die by cruel mum | The Sun

A SCHOOLBOY issued a desperate cry for help before he was left to die alone in the garden by his vile mum while "gasping for air".

Laura Heath, 40, flouted medical advice and failed to keep seven-year-old Hakeem Hussain's asthma under control.

She deliberately "prioritised her addiction to heroin and crack cocaine" over her son and used his inhalers to smoke drugs.

A serious case review has now been released after Heath was jailed in April for 20 years for gross negligence manslaughter and child cruelty.

It reveals how Hakeem heartbreakingly told teachers at Nechells A-CT Academy in Birmingham "I am 5 per cent happy, 100 per cent angry and 1,000 per cent scared" a year before his death.

The youngster also revealed he did not wash regularly as there was no money for gas or electric and told how his mum "sleeps all day".

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Hakeem said he was forced to get himself to school and once said: "I have not had any dinner, I sometimes have breakfast, sometimes lunch, but not during Saturdays and Sundays.”

The Birmingham Safeguarding Children Partnership review said the school "did their level best to try to obtain help for Hakeem".

But it went on to state the youngster had "described vividly what was happening to him and how scared he was and what loss he had suffered".

Little Hakeem was forced to live in squalor in the months leading up to his death as drugs became Heath's "principal focus in life".

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Shocking photos of the cramped family home in Birmingham showed rubbish piled up in the "unclean" rooms that "smelled of raw smoke."

Hakeem was made to sleep on the sofa in the filthy house and his school uniform reeked of urine and cigarettes.

Shockingly, police also found Hakeem’s asthma pumps wrapped in foil next to "drug paraphernalia".

His breathing got worse "day by day" and just two days before his death, a school nurse warned Hakeem could "die over the weekend".

The review found Hakeem died in "horrendous" circumstances after he was failed by child protection agencies who "could and should have done better".

The nurse's stark warning at a child protection conference on the Friday afternoon was not immediately acted on.

A plan was put in place for a social worker to speak to Heath on the Monday – by which point Hakeem was dead.


On November 26, 2017, Hakeem had gone outside to get air, which he would usually do if his asthma was bad.

He would normally wake his mum and ask her to give him an inhaler but she did not "come to his aid" on this occasion.

Hakeem was tragically found lifeless and "freezing" in the garden clutching a leaf in his hand with no sign of his medication near him.

His mum called 999 at 7.37am on November 26 – around six hours after tapping was heard at a downstairs window by a nearby resident.

She told the operator: "He’s dead… my son. He’s took himself outside when we’re asleep because he’s got asthma… and he’s fell asleep… he’s dead.

"He must have woke up and took himself outside so he can… he’s got asthma… he’s fell asleep outside… he must’ve done… he didn’t wake me up."

Heath then told the operator Hakeem was "blue and stiff" before adding: "There's no saving him. He's gone."

The sobbing mum was also heard saying "He's my baby, he's my baby" in the harrowing 999 call.


After he died, high concentrations of heroin and cocaine were found in Hakeem's hair that in an adult would indicate "active use".

His lungs were also "hyper-inflated, narrowed, stiffened and inflamed as a consequence of neglect".

Heath was Hakeem's sole carer between May 2016 and November 2017 despite her drug addiction "spiralling out of control".

She engaged in sex work at her home to fund her habit and started to "neglect Hakeem's asthma and to ill-treat him."

In May 2017, the youngster was identified as a "child in need" by a social worker, it was said.

In his final months, a referral was made to Birmingham Children's Services after Hakeem recorded 59 unauthorised absences from school.

He was also admitted to hospital three times – including in September 2017 when he suffered an "acute life-threatening asthma exacerbation".

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Independent chair Penny Thompson said it was "horrendous" that Hakeem's "unhappiness and fear of repeated asthma attacks… and the marked reduction in his attendance and performance at school, did not trigger more effective intervention".

She added: "Through the serious case review we have learned all those organisations and individuals who came into professional contact with Hakeem could and should have done better."

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