MYSTERY surrounds the death of a baby after an inquest was unable to determine the cause.

Winchester Coroner’s Court heard six-week-old Thomas Gillingham was found dead in his parents’ bed, where he had been sleeping on the night of December 27 last year.

Home office pathologist Dr Amanda Jeffery said no injuries or fatal conditions could be found in Thomas.

However, toxicology results did reveal evidence of a cannabis by-product in the baby’s system, also found in samples given to police by his parents, Liam Gillingham and Abigail Young.

The inquest heard Mr Gillingham had “smoked a spliff” in their garden before holding a small gathering at their home in Portal Road, Highcliffe, the evening before Thomas’s death.

Lucy McDonnell, who described herself as Ms Young’s best friend, said Mr Gillingham and Ms Young were “brilliant parents” and told the inquest they had a curry and drinks with her husband and a neighbour, although she said: “No-one present was tipsy or drunk.”

Ms Young said she had fallen asleep between 1.30am and 2am and Thomas had been in the bed with her and Mr Gillingham. She added she was “99 per cent sure I did not have more than two glasses of Prosecco” that night.

Mr Gillingham said he initially thought Thomas was asleep when he woke at around 6.30am, but when he didn’t move called 999 and carried out CPR. Thomas was rushed to the Royal Hampshire County Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

During a inspection of their home, Southern Health specialist nurse Julie Colgate said it felt “uncomfortably warm”.

The inquest heard the pair were arrested following Thomas’s death, but were released without charge.

Recording an open conclusion of death due to unexplained reasons, senior coroner Grahame Short said it was unlikely the cannabis by-product contributed to Thomas’s death.

Mr Short added: “I do believe it is more likely he died as a result of over-laying or excessive heat, or a combination of the two. The message from this case is babies should not be taken into their parents’ bed, especially when they have consumed alcohol.”

Addressing the pair at the inquest, Mr Short said: “I cannot begin to imagine how truly awful this was for you both.”