Inquest Hears Of Six-Year-Olds Tragic Tent Death

An inquest has heard how a 6-year-old died from inhalation of carbon monoxide fumes from a barbecue her parents had brought into their tent to keep her warm.

Paramedics were called to Holmsley campsite at Bransgore in the New Forest, Hampshire, early on 6 April when Isabelle Harris’s parents found her "unresponsive". She was later pronounced dead in hospital.

A verdict of accidental death was recorded at an inquest in Bournemouth.

Her parents Lee and Tracey Harris, from Gosport, Hampshire, said their "lives have been devastated" by her death.

The inquest heard that a coal briquette-fuelled barbecue was brought inside the tent to keep the girl warm on a cold night. Mrs Harris said she only realised that her daughter had died when she leaned over to give her a goodnight kiss.

Following the girl's death, her parents were arrested on suspicion of murder but were released the same day without charge after a postmortem examination ruled out foul play.

Pathologist Dr Basil Purdue confirmed that Isabelle had died from carbon monoxide poisoning.

After the hearing, Detective Inspector John Geden, who led the investigation, said many people were unaware of the dangers of barbecues in confined spaces.

"This is an extremely tragic case in which a six-year-old child lost her life during a family camping trip," he said.

"The cause of her death has been determined as carbon monoxide poisoning through the inhalation of fumes from burning charcoal, emitted by the family's barbecue.

"Isabelle was very much adored and cared for, and her loss is devastating to her parents and wider family.

"Tragically, many are not aware of the significant risk from carbon monoxide this poses, and our message to all is a very simple one: please do not take barbecues indoors at all. If we can stop one more family from having to go through this terrible experience, then Isabelle's death will not have been in vain."


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